Bangladeshi retail tech startup ShopUp raises $74.4m from Valar Ventures and others

Photo: Adismara Putri Pradiri / Unsplash.com

ShopUp, a Bangladesh-based startup seeking to digitalise mom-and-pop shops in the country, has raised $74.4 million in a Series B round led by Valar Ventures, according to Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) filings accessed by DealStreetAsia – DATA VANTAGE.

US-based venture capital fund Valar Ventures, a new investor in ShopUp, committed $45 million in the round and is now ShopUp’s largest investor with a 19.26% stake, according to DealStreetAsia’s calculations.

Another new investor in the round is Naspers Ventures, the VC arm of South Africa’s internet and media giant Naspers.

Existing investors Sequoia Capital India, Flourish Ventures, KDV Capital, Lonsdale Capital (Singapore), and VEON Ventures re-upped in the latest round.

VEON, a Nasdaq and Euronext Amsterdam-listed provider of connectivity and internet services, is now ShopUp’s second-largest investor with a 12.46% stake. It had first invested in the startup last year through its venture arm, VEON Ventures.

According to its latest ACRA filings, ShopUp allotted 242,090 Series B1 preference shares to investors, including Flourish Ventures, Sequoia Capital India and VEON, at $30.47 apiece for a total consideration of $7.37 million.

The startup also allocated 1.33 million Series B2 preference shares to a set of investors, including Valar Ventures, Naspers Ventures, Ohana Holdings and Sequoia Capital India, at $50.15 per share to garner nearly $67 million.

ShopUp’s valuation stands at $233 million following the latest funding.

DealStreetAsia has reached out to ShopUp for comments.

Founded in Dhaka in 2016 by Afeef Zubaer Zaman, Siffat Sarwar, and Ataur Rahim Chowdhury, ShopUp had last raised $22.5 million in a Series A round co-led by Sequoia Capital India and Flourish Ventures.

ShopUp provides B2B sourcing, logistics, and financial services to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through its mobile-first digital platform, and last-mile logistics service RedX. Its embedded financial services product provides these small shops with access to digital credit through partnerships with local financial institutions.

In November 2018, impact investment firm Omidyar Network had led a $1.62 million investment in the startup.

There are 4.5 million neighbourhood mom-and-pop shops in Bangladesh, known locally as Mudi Dokaans, that account for 98% of the country’s retail sector, making the country one of the most fragmented retail markets in Asia, according to ShopUp.

The startup opened an office in India after it merged with the Bengaluru-based e-commerce platform Voonik in February 2020.

According to an article published by The Business Standard last month, ShopUp currently has 500,000 sellers and 200 distribution hubs, its director of brands and communication Raquib Chowdhury said. 

The space for startups to digitalise mom-and-pop stores has heated up in emerging Asian countries.

In Indonesia, for instance, startups focused on digitalising mom-and-pop stores have been on a fundraising spree since the start of the year. Jakarta-based GudangAda raised more than $100 million in a Series B round led by Asia Partners and Falcon Edge in July.

MSME bookkeeping app BukuKas closed a $50 million Series B round led by London-based investment firm Hedosophia in June. In the same month, accounting startup BukuWarung raised $60 million in a Series A round led by US-based VC firms Valar Ventures and Goodwater Capital.

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.