– BANGLADESH, Dhaka – Shohoz, a Bangladesh-based online ride-sharing and ticketing platform, announced today that it has raised US$15 million pre-series B investment led by Singapore’s Golden Gate Ventures. Other investors participating in this round include Linear VC, 500 Startups and Singaporean angel investor Koh Boon Hwee. Shohoz lets consumers book car and motorbike rides for their daily commute, reserve bus seats, ferry, and even buy movie tickets from its website and app. It will use the fresh capital for customer acquisition and retention and expand into other on-demand services.
The vision of Shohoz is to create a single platform that will provide the most convenient and simple solutions to help consumers solve their daily needs and hassles. This ‘super-app’ is envisioned to provide all major on-demand services like transportation, food, medicine, financial services, bus tickets, and more – all with one swipe on their smartphone. Shohoz started end 2014, funded by European and American tech angels and recently launched their ride-sharing platform in early 2018. Within 6 months, Shohoz has become a dominant ride-sharing player, with rapid expansion plans into other services, such as food delivery and financial services.
The emergence of technology companies like Shohoz comes at a time of growing foreign direct investment into Bangladesh. Compared to the US$961 million of FDI that invested in Bangladesh in fiscal year 2008-09, inflows increased to US$2.5 billion in FY2016-17, and has continued to accelerate: more than US$2.6 billion of foreign investment flowed into the country from July to May FY17-18. In his budget speech in June 2018, Finance Minister AMA Muhith attributed this increase to “the ushering in of a stable and advanced economy after 2015. Through public investment, the government has attempted to “create an investment-friendly environment for the private sector as well as attract foreign direct investment.” Ride-sharing is just one industry poised to take advantage of improving economic conditions.
“Shohoz means easy in Bengali. Our tagline is ‘Make life easy’. When we started Shohoz in 2014, our vision was to evolve into the number one online destination for Bangladeshis,” explains Maliha Quadir, founder and Managing Director of Shohoz. “We started with tickets, added ride-sharing in 2018, and are now executing on a grander “super-app” strategy. To help Shohoz finance this growth, Shohoz has brought onboard a great lineup of experienced international and regional investors that bring tremendous consumer technology experience, strategic foresight on technology trends in the region, and deep networks which will help us expedite the evolution of our Shohoz super app.”
“We’re honoured to join Maliha and her team in their journey to grow Shohoz into the leading transportation and consumer platform in Bangladesh,” explains Justin Hall, Partner at Golden Gate Ventures. “Today Bangladesh has all the indicators of a country poised for tremendous growth: increasing digitisation of consumer services, rising consumer purchasing power, and an incredibly dense, urbanising population. Shohoz is emerging at just the right time and place to completely dominate the consumer landscape in Bangladesh.”
According to, Vishal Harnal, General Partner at 500 Startups, “Shohoz has, in record time, become one of the dominant personal transportation and ride-sharing platforms in Bangladesh. Having invested in similar category-leading companies in other markets, we’re confident that Maliha and her team are on their way to building one of Bangladesh’s most valuable and desirable technology companies that will significantly improve the way Bangladeshis travel, work and live.”
“Shohoz has been successfully implementing innovative projects that are playing a big role in our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s vision for a Digital Bangladesh. This investment comes at a time where the local tech startup scene is booming and we are seeing increased investor interest in our economy of 160 million people and as such it’s a significant milestone for our local tech ecosystem”, said ICT state minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak.
“FDI in Bangladesh has tripled over last 3 years. This is the largest investment by a VC in Bangladesh to date, we are very excited to be welcoming our new investors and we wish Maliha and her team all the best,” said Kazi M. Aminul Islam, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority.
Maliha started Shohoz at the end of 2014 with the mission to make life simpler for the common Bangladeshi, first by digitising long-distance transport operators and offering bus tickets online. Maliha, a Harvard Business School graduate, is a veteran of digital business, who previously worked for Nokia and Vistaprint out of Singapore, where she helped grow their respective businesses across APAC. She began her career at Morgan Stanley, working in Mergers & Acquisitions in the United States. She was named a ‘Young Global Leader’ by the World Economic Forum in 2017.
Shohoz’s rapidly expanding team currently comprises of 200 veterans in tech, marketing, operations, who are working hard to make life easy for Bangladeshis.
The pre-series B investment comes just as Bangladesh is emerging as the fastest growing economy in South Asia. Bangladesh has experienced a consistent GDP growth of 7% YOY for the last 20 years, and is soon to receive middle income country status as early as 2020. In the last few years, accelerating growth in both smartphone penetration and internet connectivity has resulted in a population of nearly 70 million residents coming online for the first time. This market is an opportunity for consumer technology startups, and lays the foundations for companies like Shohoz to become another Asian tech giant.
Bangladesh provides a particularly rich market for ride-sharing, thanks to its similarities with Indonesia in terms of dense, urban populations, poor transportation infrastructure (e.g., no subways, no large taxi-players), and people’s need to earn extra income. With its 160MM-strong population, Bangladesh represents enormous demand for consumer-facing services like ride-sharing, food delivery, and other financial services. As an affirmation of these trends, Alibaba recently invested in mobile payments platform bKash and Daraaz, the online ecommerce venture started by Rocket Internet. Recent studies by international organizations like BCG, HSBC, and the World Economic Forum have all cited the rise of Bangladesh as a next key Asian market.
Shohoz is Bangladesh’s leading online ride sharing and ticketing platform. The startup’s new investors include Golden Gate Ventures, 500 startups, Linear VC, and Asian angel investors including Koh Boon Hwee.
About Golden Gate Ventures
Golden Gate Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm investing across Southeast Asia. Since 2011, the firm has invested in over 30 companies across more than seven countries in Asia. The firm invests in internet and mobile startups in many sectors including e-commerce, payments, marketplaces, mobile applications, and SaaS platforms.
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