Indian venture capital firm Aavishkaar has made its inroads into Bangladesh with an investment of $2 million into CloudWell Ltd, a Dhaka-based payment systems company.
The investment will accelerate CloudWell's growth and scale up its network, Aavishkaar Frontier Fund said in a statement yesterday.
CloudWell provides agent-based payment solutions to a host of service providers such as telecom operators, mobile financial service providers and other billers under the brand name -- PayWell.
Founded in November 2012, PayWell leverages technology and aims to provide convenient payment solutions to major business-to-consumer organisations in utility, telecom, financial services, transport, retail and e-commerce in Bangladesh.
By using point-of-sale, mobile apps and web apps available in retail outlets of PayWell, customers can get various payment and transaction services, including airtime top up, utility bill payments, purchase bus or train tickets and do transaction through mobile financial services accounts.
CloudWell has a network of over 5,000 retailers across 34 districts in the country.
Anisul Islam, chairman of CloudWell, said with this investment from Aavishkaar, PayWell will expand its market across Bangladesh with a targeted network of more than 30,000 agents in two years.
j PayWell equips SMEs and enterprise merchants to accept payments from more than 30 million mobile financial services users, Islam said.
Sanchayan Chakraborty, partner at Aavishkaar, said CloudWell provided a compelling investment case for Aavishkaar, with a skilled entrepreneur team creating a highly scalable business, ramping up on the back of large and growing mobile financial services and digital economy.
“We are pleased to have made the first investment in Bangladesh and look forward to playing a role in supporting the startup and SME ecosystem in the country.”
This is Aavishkaar's first investment in Bangladesh and the third from its South and Southeast Asia-focused investment vehicle Aavishkaar Frontier Fund, formed to invest in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan.
Last month, Aavishkaar invested nearly $2.1 million in MA's Foods, a Sri Lanka-based food processing firm.
Since its incorporation in 2002, Aavishkaar has made more than 50 investments.