EkkBaz, a business-to-business (B2B) marketplace with an embedded financing platform for small businesses, has secured a fresh seed investment round of US$ 500,000 or Tk 50 million approximately in funding from Haitou Global, KeyStone Capital, Artesian and Enterprise Singapore, says a press release.
The funds will be used to grow the team and expand operations in Bangladesh, Singapore and Vietnam. B2B marketplace is a valuable resource for small businesses, who often face challenges in accessing financing and reaching new customers. EkkBaz's platform addresses these issues by connecting small businesses to suppliers and financing, enabling them to grow and succeed. EkkBaz is planning to expand the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) business model on top of its goal of becoming a leader as a B2B ecommerce marketplace. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Buy Now Pay, Later market grew significantly in Asia largely due to the boost in e-commerce and digital finance.
Founders of EkkBaz. From left - Towfiq Ahmed, Zobaida Sultana and Enam Chowdhury
Shawn Zong, managing director at KeyStone Capital, commented on the investment, saying "The e-commerce market has seen significant growth over the past few years, mainly driven by SMEs. EkkBaz's vision is to revolutionise the FMCG sector and is led by inspired and motivated leaders, and we are proud to invest in teams that shape the future of commerce." Jerry Wang, CEO at Haitou Global, added "We are excited about our investment in EkkBaz as the E-commerce + BNPL business model is a proven successful model in the SEA market with great potential. We are also proud of how EkkBaz brings greater financial inclusion to Bangladesh."
EkkBaz was founded in 2021 by Enam Chowdhury, an ex-Microsoft executive, and Zobaida Sultana, an ex-Intertek executive with the goal of providing small businesses with access to affordable financing and a platform to sell their products and services. Both founders have more than 20 years of experience in the supply chain and technology sectors. The company has seen its revenue increase by 46 times last year, and the funding will allow it to continue to grow and serve more businesses in the region. This is their second time raising funding after the previous investment from SOSV, a global multi-stage venture capital firm in 2021.
"We are thrilled to receive this funding, which will allow us to continue to support small businesses in Bangladesh and Southeast Asia," said EkkBaz co-founder and CEO, Enam Chowdhury. "Our platform is making a real difference in the lives of small business owners, and this funding will help us expand our reach and impact even further," he further added. EkkBaz's co-founder and co-CEO, Zobaida Sultana is aiming to empower more women and work with women entrepreneurs of this region through EkkBaz. EkkBaz's General Manager and co-founder Towfiq Ahmed has previously worked as Chief Operations Officer, SDI Academy in Singapore, and has co-founded this venture with a vision to modernise the FMCG industry.
EkkBaz is dedicated to helping small businesses thrive, and the new funding will allow the company to continue to innovate and serve its customers as it plans to raise US$ 2.0 million next year to expand further. The company has built its app and website in a user-friendly way to give the most convenience to small sellers of Bangladesh. The team has also attracted entrepreneurial-minded people which is essential to build a startup and they are excited to continue their growth and make a positive impact in South-Asia. More details can be found at ekkbaz.com.