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Bangladesh-based payment startup CloudWell raises $2 mn

Paywell22Aavishkaar Venture Management, a venture capital firm focused on enterprises engaged in India’s rural areas and the bottom-of-the-pyramid (BoP) segment, has invested $2 million in Bangladesh-based payment solutions provider CloudWell Ltd.

This is the VC firm’s first investment in Bangladesh and the third from its South and Southeast Asia-focused investment vehicle Aavishkaar Frontier Fund.

The startup will use the funds for scaling up its network.

CloudWell provides agent-based last mile payment solutions to telecom operators and mobile financial services players, among others, under the brand PayWell.

The company was founded in 2014 and claims to have a network of over 5,000 retailers across 34 districts in Bangladesh.

“With this investment from Aavishkaar, PayWell will expand its market across Bangladesh with a network of more than 30,000 agents in two years,” said Anisul Islam, chairman and CEO of CloudWell.

Aavishkaar had made first close of its Aavishkaar Frontier Fund at $45 million in June last year. The fund has a target corpus of $75 million.

Aavishkaar had said it will invest $1-5 million each in 15-18 firms in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. It will chase investments in affordable healthcare and education, water and sanitation, food and agriculture services, energy, technology for development and livelihoods.

Last month, Aavishkaar Frontier Fund had invested LKR 300 million or Rs 13.8 crore (nearly $2.1 million) in MA’s Foods, a Sri Lanka-based food processing firm.

The first investment from this fund happened when Aavishkaar put in $2.1 million in US- and Indonesia-based seafood firm North Atlantic Inc in February.

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