A delegation from Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of Bangladesh (VCPEAB) led by Shameem Ahsan, Chairman of VCPEAB and General Partner of Pegasus Tech Ventures (former Fenox Venture Capital), met Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam, Chairman, Bangladesh Security Exchange Commission (BSEC) and his team through a video conference.
During the meeting, the team discussed different initiatives related to strengthening the venture capital, private equity and startup ecosystem. VCPEAB also requested for policy support to create a sustainable venture capital industry. The delegation put emphasis on the possible contribution by venture capital and private equity investments to boost trade, innovation, export and help create home-grown startups that can contribute to the securities market in Bangladesh.
BSEC Chairman, Professor Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam pledged to give support to work with VCPEAB on policies to nurture the emerging industry.
"BSEC is continuously working to make the investment environment easier and transparent in our country. We will certainly accommodate relevant changes that are necessary for the venture capital and private equity enterprises," he added.
Shameem Ahsan, Chairman, VCPEAB, urged to expand the scope of venture capital and private equity industry with policy support to assist them contribute to our economy through their investment in innovative startups. He mentioned that as a result, these startups can create an ecosystem that can contribute up to 2% of GDP of Bangladesh by 2025.
Shameem also said, "The successes of global companies like Google and Facebook is not only attributed to their founders but also to the VC investors like Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and Greylock partners among others who supported them while they were only startups. Similarly, the best companies from Bangladesh will emerge with the investments of venture capital and private equity funds."
BSEC Commissioner, Dr. Shaikh Shamsuddin Ahmed said that they will give all kinds of support to improve the startup and venture capital industry in Bangladesh.
Shawkat Hossain, General Secretary, VCPEAB, presented a keynote on behalf of the association to share the policy reforms necessary to develop the venture capital and private equity industry.
"We can see our current policy has many drawbacks when compared to policies followed worldwide. From VCPEAB we are proposing to amend and add to our current structure to make an industry conducive to creation of local startups," said Shawkat Hossain.
Arif Khan, CEO of IDLC and member of VCPEAB, focused on widening investment opportunity and clearing policy with amendment to make the industry lucrative for the investors. He emphasized on many international practices followed worldwide saying, "There is a need to make the investment environment suitable for both local and foreign investors, outlining both the investment and exit strategies. This will create long term investments feasible for the funds."
Waliul Marrof Matin, Director, VCPEAB and Managing Director, Maslin Capital Ltd. talked about the steps needed to create sustainability in the industry. He said, "Few major guidelines are missing and creating barriers for us to do investment properly. These policies need to be more investment friendly for the fund managers."
Shafique-ul-Azam, Managing Director, BD Venture Limited.; Asif Mahmood, Managing Director, SEAF Bangladesh Ventures LLC.; Kh. Asadul Islam, Managing Director & CEO, Alliance Capital Asset Management Limited; Masum Ali, Chief Executive Officer, Lanka Bangla Asset Management Company Ltd; Meer Sajed-Ul-Basher, FCA, Managing Director & CEO, Impress Capital Limited; Mahadi Hasan, Chief Investment Officer, Athena Venture and Equities Ltd.; Anower Jahid, Investment Associate, Bangladesh Venture Ltd; were also present in the discussion.
VCPEAB works to strengthen the local startups and Venture Capital and Private Equity firms and help them become more visible and dominant enough to compete in this era of global challenges and competition. Other than the local members, VCPEAB is working closely with many local and foreign venture capital companies to promote investments in Bangladesh.