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Sequoia, Flourish Ventures lead Series A funding for Bangladesh startup ShopUp
Photo Credit: 123RF.com

Shopfront Ltd, which operates Bangladesh-based business-to-business (B2B) commerce platform ShopUp, has raised $22.5 million (Rs 165 crore) in Series A funding.

The round in the startup has been co-led by Sequoia Capital India and Flourish Ventures, an early-stage venture fund focussed on investing in startups that promote financial health and prosperity.

This investment marks the first bet on a startup in Bangladesh by Sequoia India and Flourish. Others that participated in the Series A round include VEON Ventures, Speedinvest, and Lonsdale Capital (Singapore).

ShopUp was also a part of the first cohort of Surge, Sequoia’s accelerator programme. Earlier this year, the company set up an office in Bengaluru. In February, the B2B arm of e-commerce platform Voonik – also backed by Sequoia – merged with ShopUp.

The company says it offers small businesses easy access to B2B sourcing, last-mile logistics, digital credit, and business management solutions. 

It claims that these services help neighbourhood mom-and-pop shops achieve more profit with less effort, allowing them to focus on customer engagement and business acquisition.

ShopUp co-founder and chief executive officer Afeef Zaman said the company will use the capital it has raised to increase its retail outreach, as well as deepen its partnerships with manufacturers and enhance its technological infrastructure.

“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,” Flourish Ventures global investments advisor Smita Aggarwal said.

The investment also represents Sequoia India’s increasing interest and presence in the larger South and Southeast Asian regions. While it originally established a presence in Southeast Asia in 2012, it has ramped up its investments in the region in recent months.

In July, the firm took part in Singapore-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) firm Insider’s Series C round. Other participants included Wamda and Endeavour Catalyst.

In June, Sequoia along with Lightspeed invested in Indonesian startup Ula, a marketplace platform that focuses on modernising distribution and credit processes in the traditional retail sector.

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