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Dhaka Tribune

RMG startup raises $260,000 in pre-seed funding

Merchant Bay to develop specialized tools for industry

Update : 25 Sep 2021, 07:05 PM

Bangladeshi readymade garment (RMG) digitization startup Merchant Bay is eyeing to develop specialized digital tools for the local industry, after raising $260,000 in a pre-seed round recently.

The startup will develop specialized business intelligence solutions, smart factory management tools and multi-sided platform services for the RMG industry.

The apparel marketplace and software service provider has raised pre-seed funding through angel investment from several serial angel investors, said the company.

This investment will be used to develop specialized business intelligence solutions, smart factory management tools and platform services for the readymade garment sector of the country, the company said.  

Abrar Hossain Sayem, chief executive officer (CEO) of Merchant Bay, said that the company began its journey with the goal of bringing about a qualitative change in the ready-made garment sector.

“This investment will help us to fully implement our ideas on digitization of the readymade garment sector. We hope that this will enable us to quickly build Merchant Bay as a major driver of qualitative change in the garment sector in Bangladesh,” he added.

Also Read - ED: Re-starting the RMG sector

He also said that they were getting very good responses from the RMG factories of the country.

“We are still developing our product. The fund we have raised will also be used for product development. It's actually a deep project, involved with a lot of aspects,” he added.

They are moving the work forward with feedback from the factories so that the maximum perfection of the work is maintained, said the Merchant Bay CEO.

“We hope to get more responses once everything is done perfectly. We are trying to make it user friendly. So that it does not become an over-complex product,” he added.

The Merchant Bay CEO also said that their main goal is to make the management of the entire industry digital and data dependent with proper connection with the global market.

Merchant Bay started its journey in 2020 with the dream of digitizing Bangladesh readymade garments industry, linking the supply chain, and making sourcing of global buyers from Bangladesh easy.

Currently, they have more than 1000 suppliers on its platform. 

Md Mizanur Rahaman, chief product officer of Merchant Bay, said: “Due to various reasons, the merchants in our apparel sector are declining, due to which many factories are facing losses. Our plan is to implement operational digitization for all factories.”

He also said that Merchant Bay will work on creating efficiency by identifying the places where the RMG factories lag behind.

“We are working to increase productivity significantly. We will also provide all the support needed for digitization in the ownership and middle level management sector of the RMG,” he also said.

He further said that they are building the B2B platform in such a way that the RMG factories in Bangladesh will have digital profiles and international buyers will be able to connect with them directly.

It will help the garment industry of Bangladesh to find buyers outside Europe and America, he added.

For the past year, Merchant Bay has been working on increasing digital literacy of Bangladesh suppliers and conducting market research to identify areas in readymade garments industry where technology can help increase efficiency. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Merchant Bay helped many businesses to meet their sourcing needs through its online marketplace. 

Through Digital Trade Week, Merchant Bay connected with representatives from 40 countries.

Merchant Bay was able to connect 1400 suppliers and 300 buyers during the event.

Through 75 public and private sessions Merchant Bay provided assistance to buyers and suppliers in various ways during the pandemic, such as identifying the needs, helping in sourcing, and various other business-related topics.

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