Sheba.xyz to expand to Southeast Asia
Sheba.xyz, a startup success from Bangladesh, is taking its unique household service marketplace to beyond the country's borders after it signed franchise agreements with companies in Malaysia, Indonesia and Myanmar.
By way of its website and mobile app, Sheba.xyz connects verified service providers such as plumbers, electricians, chauffeurs, security personnel, chefs, IT technicians and so with customers as and when they need.
The company, which dubs itself as the Amazon for Everyday Services, has already filed a patent for the platform in Dhaka and will file another in Singapore.
Initially, the franchisees in Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta will invest more than $1 million to set up the infrastructure.
The company will start trial runs in the two cities from next month and in Yangon in June, said Adnan Imtiaz Halim, chief executive officer of Sheba.xyz. Test runs will continue for a year before full-fledged commercial operations start.
“By that time we will know whether the Bangladesh model will work over there or not or whether we need to tweak the model to suit local preferences,” said Halim, who holds 13 percent shares in the company.
Currently, Sheba.xyz is offering more than 60 kinds of services all around Dhaka city. Since June 2015, it has served about 66,000 customers. On an average the company serves 6,000 customers every month.
The company has so far created a thousand jobs and has plans to hit 10,000 by this year as it takes its unique model to other parts of Bangladesh.
The company has raised about $1 million from its investors and is waiting to hear back on its investment proposal from the ICT division's iDEA (innovation, design and entrepreneurship academy) project.
“We need another $2 million from both home and abroad to make our service more attractive. That's why we want the government as our co-investor, and so far, we got a positive response,” Halim added. At present, it has 31 investors.