R-Ventures 3.0, Robi’s flagship digital entrepreneurship platform, announced that it will invest in 8 startups out of 11 companies that have made it to the R-Ventures 3.0 finalists. The company organized a grand finale event on March 5 at the Sheraton Hotel in the capital, which was attended by senior Robi executives, government officials and key people from the startup ecosystem. Minister of State for ICT Junaid Ahmad Palak was the chief guest of the event.
r-ventures 3.0: key details 11 digital start-ups participated in the grand finale. Investments were announced for 8 startups. 4 startups received an investment of over Tk 2 crore from RedDot Digital Limited, an IT subsidiary of Robi Axiata Ltd and sponsor of r-ventures private equity fund. SBK Tech Ventures and Angel Investor, Kaneez Almas Khan have committed to invest Rs 3.5 crore in 4 start-ups apart from RedDot Digital Ltd. Startup Bangladesh Limited, the Venture Capital Fund of ICT Division, has also committed to make a total of two investments. 1.5 crore to start-ups. Investors include RedDot Digital Limited, SBK Tech Ventures, angel investor Kaniz Almas Khan, and Startup Bangladesh Limited.
Tell me more about the various investment announcements:
A flurry of investment announcements have been made in this event. It’s a bit vague but here it is:
Robi, SBK Tech Ventures, and Startup Bangladesh Limited agree to invest INR 15 million in Digi Dokaan Limited, e-commerce and retail SBK Tech Ventures, Robi and Kaniz Almas Khan invest INR 125 million in HishabPlus Robby and Kaneez Almas Khan from Fintech announces investment of Taka 1 Crore from SBK Tech Ventures from Fintech and Jomma SBK Tech Ventures invests Taka 1 Crore into Ukil from Legal Tech Sector Robby invests Taka 2.5 million from Assistive Technology to Drishti also announced. Startup Bangladesh announced investments of Tk 50 lakh and Tk 1 crore respectively in ANTT Robotics, Your-Campus and Fabric Lagbe Ltd. 11 teams including Myle, RecycleJar Ecosystem, and Relaxi Ltd. Robbie R-Ventures What is 3.0?
Robi launched r-venture in 2017 as an internal incubator program to support its own employees in digital entrepreneurship. The first batch of the program created a number of exciting companies, such as transportation tech startup Shuttle. In the following years, Robbie opened up the program to all, partnered with several organizations, and launched r-venture as an open-to-all incubator/accelerator program. This was the fourth group of r-ventures.
The R-Venture is interesting for a number of different reasons. We wrote in 2017 at the time of the first internal cohort:
“Corporate incubator program is nothing new. Although, it is a remarkable step on the part of Robi, the company has experience to associate with BDtickets.com, and also because the telecom operators in the country are already in a war mood So prepare yourself for the upcoming digital service gold. Hurry up.”
Although almost none of the observations we made at the time turned out to be true, R-Venture is an important initiative for Dhaka’s new startup ecosystem.