B2B Commerce Startup ShopUp Scoop Up $22.5 Million From Sequoia Capital And Flourish Ventures

  • ShopUp is a Bangladesh-based business-to-business e-commerce platform that allows small businesses and local stores to grow via technology.
  • With this investment, ShopUp has raised $28.4 million in a total of 6 rounds.

Bangladesh-based B2B e-commerce startup ShopUp (ShopFront Limited) scoop up $22.5 million (or about Rs 165 crore) in its Series A funding round led by Sequoia Capital India and global fintech venture firm Flourish Ventures.

Other investors, including Veon Ventures, SpeedInvest, and Lonsdale Capital (Singapore-based family investment office) also participated in the funding round.

The startup will use this fresh funding to increase its retail presence in Bangladesh, extending its partnership with manufacturers, and focusing on building tech-first infrastructure in its platform.

ShopUp has shown its interest in the Indian B2B retail commerce market. Earlier this year, ShopUp opened its first office in Bangalore, aiming to expand and hire talented professionals to the company’s vision and future goals.

Additionally, the Indian e-commerce platform Voonik also recently merged with ShopUp, with both founders of Voonik joining ShopUp as Co-Founders. 

“We believed in the power of internet and technology adoption by small businesses and founded ShopUp as we wanted to be a key driver of this transformation,” said Afeef Zaman, (Co-founder & CEO of ShopUp).

“COVID-19 has further underscored the need for digital transformation for the country’s smaller businesses,” he added.

“ShopUp has a unique tech-driven business model that combines commerce, logistics, and embedded finance to address the needs of small businesses in Bangladesh and helps them grow,” said Smita Aggarwal, Global Investments Advisor, Flourish Ventures.

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“ShopUp is empowering its customers through high quality and timely product sourcing, reliable deliveries, and accessible financing,” said Klaus Wang, VP of Sequoia Capital (India) Singapore.

According to the report, This was the largest Series A investment ever made in Bangladesh, co-led by Sequoia India Capital and Flourish Ventures. On that note, ShopUp is Sequoia Capital India and Flourish Ventures’ first investment in Bangladesh.

There are 4.5 Million neighborhood mom-and-pop shops in Bangladesh, known regionally as Mudi Dokaans, that account for 98% of the country’s retail sector.

The majority of these small retailers suffer constant challenges in getting goods from multiple distributors and wholesalers across an equally fragmented supply-chain.

A recent study found 73% of the retailers’ sales are credit sales to end consumers, whereas only 27% of small businesses in Bangladesh have access to formal financing to support their liquidity.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many smaller retailers in Bangladesh have moved their shop to various online channels such as Facebook to reach out to new customers.

This, in turn, has created a massive long-tail demand for last-mile logistics. ShopUp’s last-mile logistics team, RedX, is partnering with these shops and is now processing 13 times more parcels daily than it did in April this year.

According to the report by Grand View Research, The global B2B e-commerce market was valued at $5.7 trillion in 2019 and is likely to expand at a CAGR (Compound annual growth rate) of 17.5% from 2020 to 2027.

About ShopUp – ShopUp is a Bangladesh-based business-to-business e-commerce platform founded in 2017 by Zaman, Siffat Sarwar, and Ataur Rahim Chowdhury. ShopUp focused on enabling small businesses easy access to B2B sourcing, last-mile logistics, digital credit, and business management solutions to make their business process much easier.

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