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VCPEAB to Collaborate with Financial Institutions for a Sustainable Startup Ecosystem

Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of Bangladesh (VCPEAB), a private sector body that aims to strengthen the local venture capital and startup ecosystem, organized an online roundtable titled, “Financial Institution-Venture Capital: Collaboration for a Sustainable Startup Ecosystem” on Thursday. The online roundtable highlighted the importance of a collaborative approach by financial institutions and venture capital firms to encourage a robust venture capital and startup ecosystem through access to capital, talent, networks, and other resources from local sources.

Globally, financial institutions invest in startups through venture capital firms and earn attractive high returns. Incorporating a similar framework in Bangladesh will prove to be beneficial for both financial institutions and venture capital and startup ecosystem. Banks and NBFIs such as The City Bank, National Credit and Commerce Bank, Southeast Bank, Eastern Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, National Bank, IDLC Finance, LankaBangla Finance, and Midas Finance have already invested in venture capital firms and gained significant portfolio.

In this program, Md. Ashadul Islam, Senior Secretary, Financial Institutions Division, Ministry of Finance was present as the Chief Guest, Kaniz Fatema, Chairman, Karmasangsthan Bank was present as the Special Guest and Md. Tajul Islam, Managing Director, Karmasangsthan Bank was present as the Guest of Honor. The session was chaired by Shameem Ahsan, President, VCPEAB and the keynote speech was given by Shawkat Hossain, General Secretary, VCPEAB.

Md. Ashadul Islam said, “Starting from policy support, government is willing to provide all kinds of support to play a facilitating role in this collaboration. We have also identified the barriers preventing the growth of the venture capital and startup ecosystem. To overcome these barriers, the role of financial institutions is very crucial.”

Kaniz Fatema said, “We welcome the opportunity to foster a robust venture capital and startup ecosystem for our nation through all possible measures, and will certainly look into the opportunity to be a supportive pillar for them.”

Md. Tajul Islam said, “We would be delighted to play an active role to strengthen the venture capital and startup ecosystem.”

Shameem Ahsan  said, Financial Institutions Division, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC), both of them came forward to support the startup and venture capital ecosystem, and are continuously helping to create a bridge between venture capital firms and financial institutions. By 2025, our vision is to have at least five companies with billion-dollar valuation. This will facilitate 5 million or 50 lacs direct employment, and 2% contribution to the GDP growth from ICT and startups.”

Shawkat Hossain said, “Venture capital is a proven instrument for startup financing. It needs different skills. Moreover, banks can reduce risk by financing in portfolio of venture capital firms instead of investing directly in startups.”

Shafique-Ul-Azam, Managing Director, BD Venture Ltd.; Asif Mahmood, Managing Director, SEAF Bangladesh Ventures Mahadi Hasan, Chief Investment Officer, Athena Venture and Equities Ltd.; Lt. General Abdul Hafiz, ndc, psc (Retd.), Co-founder & Managing Director, Maslin Capital Ltd.; Masum Ali, Chief Executive Officer, Lanka Bangla Asset Management Company Ltd.; Kh. Asadul Islam, Managing Director & CEO, Alliance Capital Asset Management Ltd.; Syed Javed Noor, General Manager, IDLC Asset Management Ltd.; Ehsanul Kabir, Managing Director & CEO, Strategic Equity Management Ltd. and Anwar Jahid, Invest Associate, Bangladesh Venture Capital Ltd. were also present.

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