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Dhaka Tribune

Investment in Bangladeshi startups drop 70% in Jan-Mar'24

Only four Bangladeshi startups secured venture capital funding in the first three months this year

Update : 23 Apr 2024, 06:27 PM

Investments in Bangladeshi startups dropped 70% quarter-on-quarter (Q-o-Q) to about $6.7 million in the January to March period of this calendar year.

The drop is even bigger compared to the same period last year—82%.

However, total funding was slightly better than what the local startups secured in the July-September quarter last year, according to a LightCastle compilation of disclosed deals.

Only four Bangladeshi startups secured venture capital funding in the first three months this year, a significant drop from the 20 in the same period last year, while there had been seven deals in the last quarter of 2023.  

Globally, startup investments dropped 26% Q-o-Q to $44 billion in the first three months of this year.

Bangladeshi startups were the worst hit after Pakistani ones that saw no investments in the January-March quarter, following an investment of $39 million in the previous quarter.

In the January-March period, startup investment dropped 65% in Singapore, 69% in China, 27% in India, Qo--Q.

Disclosed investment in Bangladeshi startups dropped to $72 million in 2023 from $125 million in 2022, while in 2021, it surged to a record high of $432 million, including the $250 million Softbank investment in bKash.

Since the beginning of the funding winter in mid-2022, direct jobs at Bangladeshi startups have shrunk by a third to around 35,000, estimate industry insiders.

There are some 2,500 recognized startups in the country, including the lone unicorn Bkash, the leading mobile financial service firm, according to startup Bangladesh.

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