Bangladesh’s B2B commerce startup ShopUp announces $75m round led by Valar Ventures

Photo: ShopUp

Bangladesh-based business-to-business (B2B) commerce startup ShopUp on Tuesday announced it has raised $75 million in a Series B round led by Valar Ventures.

DealStreetAsia had first reported the details of the funding round, including the lead investor and other backers, last week.

ShopUp, which is focused on digitalising mom-and-pop shops in the country, raised funds from Prosus Ventures, formerly Naspers Ventures, and existing investors Flourish Ventures, Sequoia Capital India, and VEON Ventures.

In a statement, ShopUp said the financing marks the largest Series B funding for a B2B commerce platform in South Asia so far.

The latest round comes 10 months after it announced its $22.5 million Series A round and brings its total funding to $110 million, it added.

ShopUp also tripled its ESOP pool in this round.

According to Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) filings, Valar Ventures committed $45 million in the round and is now ShopUp’s largest investor with a 19.26% stake.

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. 

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 filings showed. 

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.

Founded in Dhaka in 2016 by Afeef Zubaer Zaman, Siffat Sarwar, and Ataur Rahim Chowdhury, 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.

Revenue grew 13 times in the past 12 months, ShopUp claimed, while total shipments went up 11 times.

“Our mission is to put 4.5 million small retailers in the driving seat of Bangladesh’s economic growth,” Zaman, the chief executive of ShopUp, said in the press release.

“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,” said Valar Ventures founding partner James Fitzgerald. 

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

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.