This is the first investment by Aavishkaar in Bangladesh and third through its Aavishkaar Frontier Fund (AFF), a regional fund which focuses on South and Southeast Asia market, the company said on Tuesday.
Last month, it had invested $2 million in Sri Lanka-based MA’s Foods. Prior to that in November 2015, the fund had backed US- and Indonesia-based seafood firm North Atlantic Inc with $2.1 million investment.
Aavishkar targets to invest in around 18 companies through this fund – keeping the average ticket size between $1-5 million – in countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
“With this investment from Aavishkaar, PayWell will expand its market across Bangladesh with a targeted network of more than 30,000 agents in two years, retailing various services to consumers and also equipping SMEs and enterprise merchants to accept payments from more than 30 million mobile financial services users,” said Anisul Islam, chairman & CEO of CloudWell.
“CloudWell provided a compelling investment case for Aavishkaar, with a skilled entrepreneur team creating a highly scalable business, ramping up on the back of large and growing mobile financial services and digital economy. We look forward to playing a role in supporting the startup and SME ecosystem in the country,” said Sanchayan Chakraborty, partner at Aavishkaar.
CloudWell was launched in November 2012. It provides agent-based last mile payment solutions to service providers such as telecom operators, mobile financial services players and other billers under the brand name PayWell.
Aavishkaar is a VC firm, focussed on early-stage venture capital investments in enterprises working with the low income population in rural and underserved markets. Since its inception in 2002, it has made more than 50 investments across sectors. The VC firm has raised five funds and manages around $200 million under management.