A new era in Alternative Investment in Bangladesh

Startup Dhaka has organized Alternative Investment Forum Series I on April 27th, 2019 at Art Café, Gulshan with a view to promoting angel investing in Bangladesh. The event is first of its kind specifically geared towards raising awareness about angel investing and early stage funding landscape in Bangladesh. 39 participants and 9 speakers illuminated the event with their presence. Checkmate was the media partner for the event.IMS03987 copy

The event started with Mustafizur Khan addressing the guests and sharing his opening remarks on the event. Mr. Khalid Quadir, Cofounder and Managing Partner, Brummer & Partners (Bangladesh) Ltd., took the stage after him with his keynote speech. He talked about the differences of venture capital and private equity. According to him, venture capital focuses on early stage startups where valuation depends on the team, the concept, the market opportunity and early stage product. On the other hand, private equity deals with more mature businesses which has a proven business model and sizeable revenue

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A panel discussion took place on Angel Investing in Bangladesh – Lessons Learnt moderated by Samad Miraly, Cofounder of Startup Dhaka. Sonia Bashir Kabir, prominent angel investor, explained that technology is an enabler and Fintech, Agrotech and Edutech are the industries that are likely to fly off in Bangladesh in the near future. Nazim Farhan Choudhury, Managing Director, Adcomm, disclosed that he always looks for the experience and working ability of the team members when he considers a startup for investment and he always tries to develop a good relationship with the entrepreneur to make them feel like the investor has got their back. Fahim Rahman, Private Equity Fund Expert, feels that it is the passion of the entrepreneur that drives an investor to back him.

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Anita Ghazi Islam, Founder & Partner, The Legal Circle, talked about legal bindings, rights and responsibilities as angel investors. Her session explained the process of investment where the steps include conducting due diligence & getting regulatory approvals, writing investment agreements, registering the investment and creating articles of association.

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Samad Miraly also talked about business evaluation & control, risks & securities and returns & exits in a separate individual session. He enlightened the participants with 4 stages of Hockey Stick Growth which are Tinkering, The Blade Years, The Growth Inflection Point and Surging Growth. In a session on valuation of early stage companies, Bijon Islam, CEO & Cofounder of Light Castle Partners, went over the steps and what Qualitative and Quantitative factors to consider in valuation. According to him, Quantitative factors include, Sales & Cash Flow, Traction and Assets. Qualitative factors to be considered are Team, Experience, Network and Advisors or Mentors.

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IDLC has recently initiated a venture capital fund that aims to bridge the gap between startups and unused funds. Mustafizur Khan and Samad Miraly, partners of the fund, have focused on the opportunities and prospects of future growth of IDLC Venture Capital Fund I.

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The event  finished with a networking session among the participants and guests after Adnan Halim, CEO, Sheba.xyz shared their story and how GrameenPhone Accelerator has changed the game for them and validated their business and success.

Elvis Gomes