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Bangladeshi ride-hailing startup Shohoz raises $15m

Dhaka-based ride-sharing and online ticketing platform Shohoz has raised US$15 million pre-series B investment as it plans to expand its services.

Singapore-based Golden Gate Ventures led the US$15 million investment, which Shohoz claims is the country’s largest single venture capital deal to date, according to Tech in Asia. China’s Linear VC, 500 Startups, and Singapore angel investor Koh Boon Hwee also took part in this investment venture.

CEO Maliha Quadir told TechCrunch that it is now registering one million completed rides per month as it bids to “simplify” life in capital city Dhaka, which houses over 18 million people and offers limited transport options.

“Bus tickets will remain an important part of our business, [there’s] lots of synergy with ride-sharing,” she explained in an interview. “Dhaka has a super dense population with bad infrastructure, if anything there’s a better case for ride-sharing than Indonesia… there’s no subway and transport is a horrid nightmare.”

The Bangladeshi ride-hailing startup plans to use the fresh capital for customer acquisition, retention, and expansion into other on-demand services.

“We’re honored to join Maliha and her team in their journey to grow Shohoz into the leading transportation and consumer platform in Bangladesh,” explains Justin Hall, Partner at Golden Gate Ventures.

“Today Bangladesh has all the indicators of a country poised for tremendous growth: increasing digitization of consumer services, rising consumer purchasing power, and an incredibly dense, urbanizing population. Shohoz is emerging at just the right time and place to completely dominate the consumer landscape in Bangladesh.”

Maliha Quadir, who graduated from Havard and spent time working in finance in the U.S. and Singapore, told TechCrunch that Shohoz plans to double down on its ride-sharing business with the new round. In particular, the plan is to expand beyond Dhaka soon.

Shohoz is also looking to enter ‘super app’ territory in the style of Indonesia’s Go-Jek and Singapore’s Grab by introducing services such as food delivery.

Shohoz which means ‘easy’ in Bengali started in 2014 offering online bus ticket sales before expanding into other tickets like ferries. The startup moved into on-demand services in January when it added motorbikes and then it recently introduced private cars.

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