BSEC will help boost startup, venture capital ecosystem
The Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of Bangladesh (VCPEAB) on Wednesday sought policy support from regulators to create a sustainable venture capital industry.
They also put emphasis on the possibility of contribution by venture capital and private equity investments to boost trade, innovation, export, and help create homegrown startups that can contribute to the securities market in Bangladesh.
The leaders of the sector made the demand at a virtual meeting with Prof Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam, chairman of Bangladesh Security Exchange Commission (BSEC).
Shameem Ahsan, chairman of VCPEAB and general partner of Pegasus Tech Ventures (formerly Fenox Venture Capital), led the visiting delegation.
He sought policy support from the BSEC to expand the scope of venture capital and private equity industry, so that they could contribute to the country's economy through their investment in innovative startups.
He also mentioned that with proper support, these startups could create an ecosystem that could contribute up to 2% of Bangladesh's GDP by 2025.
BSEC chairman Prof Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam pledged to work with the VCPEAB on policies to nurture the emerging industry.
“The BSEC is continuously working to make the investment environment easier and transparent in our country. We will certainly accommodate relevant changes that are necessary for the venture capital and private equity enterprises,” he added.
BSEC Commissioner Dr Shaikh Shamsuddin Ahmed said they will give all kinds of support to improve the startup and venture capital industry in Bangladesh.
Shawkat Hossain, general secretary of VCPEAB, presented a keynote on behalf of the association to share the policy reforms necessary to develop the venture capital and private equity industry.
“We can see our current policy has many drawbacks when compared to policies followed worldwide. From VCPEAB we are proposing amendments and additions to our current structure to materialize an industry conducive to creating local startups,” said Shawkat.
Arif Khan, CEO of IDLC Finance Ltd and member of VCPEAB, focused on widening investment opportunities and amending policies to make the industry more lucrative for investors.
There is a need to make the investment environment suitable for both local and foreign investors, outlining both the investment and exit strategies. This will create long-term investments feasible for the funds, he suggested.
Waliul Marrof Matin, director of VCPEAB, said that few major guidelines were missing, thus creating barriers for investing properly.
These policies need to be more investment-friendly for the fund managers, he observed.