Together with Sequoia Capital India and Flourish Ventures, Veon has become the first strategic corporate investor in Bangladesh’s ShopUp, a full-stack B2B commerce platform for small businesses.
The investment – made via Veon Ventures – will allow the firm to support ShopUp’s fast-growing digital ecosystem for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which form a vital backbone of Bangladesh’s economy, as well as providing significant opportunities for developing mobile financial services for ShopUp’s users.
As Bangladesh’s leading full-stack B2B commerce company, ShopUp provides B2B sourcing, logistics and financial services to MSMEs through its mobile-first digital platform and market-leading last mile logistics service, RedX. Many local businesses already use ShopUp as it allows neighbourhood shops and online sellers to overcome the supply chain challenges of Bangladesh’s highly fragmented wholesale, retail and distribution channels.
ShopUp’s embedded financial services product provides MSMEs with access to digital credit through partnerships with leading local financial institutions, broadening financial inclusion to communities of small businesses that often lack access to basic banking services.
Sergi Herrero, Veon’s co-CEO, said: “By combining Veon’s expertise in digital financial services with ShopUp’s unique sourcing and logistics capabilities, we look forward to serving the business needs of Bangladesh’s vibrant MSME community while helping to promote financial inclusion throughout the nation’s millions of small business owners.”
Afeef Zaman, co-Founder and CEO of ShopUp, said: “We knew we would witness massive adoption of the internet and technology by Bangladesh’s small businesses and founded ShopUp because we wanted to play our part in redefining the nation’s growth story through this transformation. COVID-19 makes this shift even more critical for Bangladesh’s smaller businesses as supply chain pressures intensify.”