India: Aavishkaar invests $2m in Bangladesh-based payment systems firm CloudWell

Social venture capital firm Aavishkaar Venture Management through its Aavishkaar Frontier Fund, has invested $2 million in Bangladesh-based payments systems company CloudWell Ltd.

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.

Also Read:

India: Aavishkaar Venture plans to raise new fund of $300m this year

Exclusive: Aavishkaar plans bigger deals, hopes to close SE Asia-focussed fund this year

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.