ShopUp gets $75 million from Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Prosus and others


ShopUp, a startup that is digitizing neighborhood stores in Bangladesh, has raised $75 million in a new financing round that is also the largest in the South Asian market.

Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures led ShopUp’s $75 million Series B round. Prosus Ventures as well as existing investors Flourish Ventures, Sequoia Capital India, and VEON Ventures also invested in the round. The new investment, which brings the startup’s all-time raise to over $100 million, is also Valar’s and Prosus’ first deals in Bangladesh, home to over 100 million internet users.

Bangladesh is home to one of the most fragmented retail markets in Asia, with 98% of all retail consumption happening through 4.5 million small neighbourhood mom and pop retail shops spread out across the country. These shops face daily struggles when procuring goods from multiple suppliers, distributors, and wholesalers. Problems such as product unavailability, lack of price transparency and unreliable delivery severely hamper their ability to manage day-to-day businesses. On top of that, a staggering 73% of small retailers sell on credit to end customers, whereas, in Bangladesh, only 27.5% of small businesses have access to formal financing. Such fundamental barriers have hampered the growth of these neighbourhood mom and pop shops for decades.

ShopUp is attempting to address these challenges. It has built what it calls a full-stack business-to-business commerce platform. The startup provides a number of core services to these stores including a wholesale marketplace to secure inventory, logistics (including last-mile delivery to customers) and working capital. (Like many startups in India, ShopUp has banking and other partners to provide working capital.)

In the past year, the startup has expanded its offerings and deepened its footprints within Bangladesh, said Afeef Zaman, co-founder and chief executive of ShopUp​, in an interview with TechCrunch. For instance, it has partnered with country’s largest manufacturers, producers and distributors to secure and supply inventories to small shops, he said. And its logistics offerings is already the largest in Bangladesh.

Over the past 12 months, ShopUp has witnessed over 13x growth in revenue and 11x growth in the number of total shipments. Headquartered in Dhaka, ShopUp opened an office in Bengaluru last year, with a large part of its tech and engineering talent based out of India.

Categories: Venture Capital

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