VC fund Anchorless Bangladesh starts its journey by funding logistics startup Loop
While the world is reeling from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are glimmers of hope shining through the doom and gloom in the form of venture capital firm Anchorless Bangladesh, which has started off its investments by funding Loop Freight, a Bangladeshi startup that focuses on logistics and innovative digital solutions to a largely old-fashioned industry.
"At Anchorless Bangladesh, our goal is to identify early-stage startups best-suited to take advantage of such large, unique opportunities in Bangladesh," said Rahat Ahmed, founding partner and CEO of the VC firm, in an introductory post on Medium yesterday.
Rahat moved back to Dhaka recently, after 30 years, to launch Anchorless Bangladesh. The fund is based out of New York, and its partners have experience in hedge funds, private equity, and a history of working with emerging technologies.
With an initial seed fund of $600,000 USD provided to Loop Freight, Anchorless looks to capitalise on consumer demand in what they call a "high-density market" and a truck freight industry that is worth over $10 billion USD a year.
"We are thrilled to announce a seed investment in Loop and look forward to working closely with this brilliant, passionate team in contributing to a better Bangladesh—and beyond," added Rahat.
Loop's co-founders, Fahim Salam and Rajib Das, have the experience and the insight to take their ideas of reverse logistics and scalable visions forward -- Fahim discovered the pitfalls of logistics trading via Alibaba, while Rajib worked at the Port of Vancouver, Anchorless said in a statement.
With a centralised booking system and by digitising the process end-to-end for both shippers and carriers, Loop has seen early success -- in one case, within a month, they were able to reduce the asset management cost of a feed mill by 27% percent.
By treating the startups they invest in as long-term partners, Anchorless wants to empower and build companies that solve global problems, with a firm belief in the potential of Bangladeshis.
"As venture investors, we understand that our relationship with companies may last five years, even a decade. We also know that the money we invest today is just the beginning, with hopefully more rounds to come," writes Rahat.
"Knowing this, we ask ourselves: "Do we want to work with these founders for that long?" and "Would we work for these founders ourselves?"
For startups like Loop, the answer from the newest VC in town is a resounding yes.