Venture capital firm starts journey today
A venture capital firm starts its journey today, aiming to foster entrepreneurship by way of capital injection into start-up companies.
“A number of innovative young entrepreneurs are waiting for capital to start their projects. Our experts will assess the project idea and will become a partner in the business by investing capital,” said Aftab ul Islam, chairman of the firm, BD Venture Ltd.
The firm is mainly looking to invest in: information technology, agriculture and agro-based industries, food processing, renewable energy, health service, education, tourism and light engineering.
BD Venture Ltd (BDV) will be involved in the governance of the companies it invests in and assist in entrepreneurial and management capacity building as well.
Once the companies have reached maturity, BDV will sell its shares back to the entrepreneurs or to a third party via the capital market.
Mutual Trust Bank, National Bank, Green Delta Insurance, Bangladesh General Insurance, LankaBangla Finance, DataEdge, Asia Pacific General Insurance, MIDAS Financing and IPE Capital hold a combined 80 percent stake in BDV.
The remaining 20 percent is owned by renowned professionals, bankers and businessmen.
The dot-com revolution and the emergence of India as an IT powerhouse were only possible due to venture capital funds.
“The banks did not dare help Microsoft's Bill Gates or Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. It was venture capitalists who provided them with the necessary capital,” said Mamun Rashid, BDV's vice president.
Rashid, also the director of BRAC University's Business School, said Bangladesh has huge potential for business process outsourcing which BDV hopes to exploit, especially in partnership with women entrepreneurs.
“BDV will not provide loans to entrepreneurs; rather it will invest and share profit or loss with the company. The venture will provide management assistance to the entrepreneurs as well,” said Shawkat Hossain, BDV's managing director.
He said there are no existing regulations for venture capital firms; the central bank, though, has given the no objection certificate to BDV.
“We want to establish an entrepreneur group in the country as young graduates are coming with their new innovative ideas,” said M Ehsanul Haque, director of BDV.
For now, BDV's authorised capital is Tk 50 crore and paid-up capital is Tk 10 crore.
The company intends to raise the paid-up capital to Tk 20 crore upon receiving the approval from Securities and Exchange Commission.