Bangladesh-based full-stack B2B commerce startup ShopUp today announced it has raised US$75 million in a Series B funding round led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures.
Other investors, including Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures), the venture investment arm of Prosus, along with existing investors Flourish Ventures, Sequoia Capital India, and VEON Ventures, also participated in the round.
Prior to this, ShopUp had raised $22.5 million in a Series A round in October 2020, led by existing investors. Following the current round of funding, The startup's total funding amount now stands at $110 million, making it the best-funded start-up in Bangladesh, the statement said.
Meanwhile, It has also increased its ESOP pool by three-fold, the statement adds.
Bangladesh is home to one of the most fragmented retail markets in Asia, with 98% of all retail consumption is happening through 4.5 million small neighborhood mom-and-pop retail shops.
These small shops face daily problems such as product unavailability, lack of price transparency, and unreliable delivery severely while procuring goods from suppliers, distributors, and wholesalers.
Additionally, around 73% of small retailers sell products on credit to end customers, whereas, in Bangladesh, only 27.5% of small retailers and businesses have access to formal financing facilities.
To overcome these problems, ShopUp launched three products named Mokam, a one-stop B2B commerce app, REDX, an end-to-end logistics platform, and Baki, a buy now, pay later (BNPL) product for small retailers.
According to ShopUp, Mokam helps neighborhood mom-and-pop shops by enabling access to the largest catalogue of products with 24-hour doorstep delivery within their single app. The startup also said it has partnered with manufacturers, producers, and distributors to ensure the best pricing of the products for retailers.
“Our mission is to put 4.5 million small retailers in the driving seat of Bangladesh’s economic growth," Afeef Zaman, CEO & co-founder of ShopUp said. "We are building best-in-class infrastructure to support retail operations all over the country, adding new categories to serve the underserved small retailers and launching new financial products to meet the unarticulated needs of the retailers we serve," he adds.
The four-year-old startup claims that over the past 12 months it has witnessed over 13x growth in revenue and 11x growth in the number of total shipments done with its platform. It also has its office in Bengaluru, with a large part of tech and engineering talent based out of India.
Speaking on the investment, James Fitzgerald, Founding partner of Valar Ventures, said: "The leadership team at ShopUp has shown strong execution capabilities over the last twelve months. They became clear market leaders with double-digit growth across three products built for the underserved small businesses in Bangladesh."
"In fast-growing frontier economies like Bangladesh, small businesses are the primary driver of the economy. We are excited to partner with Afeef’s vision of building a connected ecosystem of products to fast-track their transition to the online economy," he adds.
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