Impact investor Aavishkaar Venture Management which raised $45 million last year for its South & Southeast Asia focused Aavishkaar Frontier Fund has invested $2 million in Bangladesh-based CloudWell Limited. This investment will enable acceleration of CloudWell’s growth and scale up its nationwide network.
CloudWell is a payment solution provider that provides agent-based last mile payment solutions to a host of service providers such as telecom operators, mobile financial services players and other billers under the brand name ‘PayWell’.
Anisul Islam, Chairman & CEO of CloudWell said,
With this investment from Aavishkaar, PayWell will expand its market across Bangladesh with a targeted network of more than 30,000 agents in two years, selling various services to consumers and help SMEs and enterprise merchants to accept payments from more than 30 million mobile financial services users.”
Founded in November 2012 by Anisul Islam, Faizul Hamid and Apurba Das, PayWell provides payment solutions to B2C organizations across utility, telecom, financial services, transport, retail and e-commerce sectors in Bangladesh. PayWell’s point-of-sale (POS), mobile apps, web apps allow customers avail various payment and transaction services including airtime top up, utility bill payments, bus or train ticket purchases, transaction using mobile financial services (MFS) accounts. CloudWell has a network of over 5,000 retailers across 34 out of 64 districts in Bangladesh. Majority of them are from outside the capital city of Dhaka.
Since its incorporation in 2002, Aavishkaar has made more than 50 investments across sectors and raised five funds worth $200 million. It has also got 13 full exits and six partial exits.
Last month, Delhi-based Jaypore, an online platform for contemporary Indian apparel, jewelry and home decor, raised $5 million in its first round of institutional funding led by Aavishkaar. CloudWell is the third portfolio company of Aavishkaar Frontier Fund (AFF). In November 2015, Aavishkaar made its foray in Indonesia with its first investment in North Atlantic, Inc. (NAI). NAI sources seafood from Indonesian artisanal fishermen and sell frozen seafood products to supermarkets and restaurants in North America and Asia. Last month, Aavishkaar Frontier Fund made its second investment in Sri Lanka-based food processing company MA's Foods.