Bangladesh has the 8th largest population in the world with about 170 million people. It’s therefore no surprise that a wave of tech startups have been popping up in this region—many offering innovative products and services that equal or even rival their Western counterparts.
With about 60% of the population under 30 years old, much of the startup activity is dominated by young entrepreneurs. The following are 15 of the best and brightest tech startups in Bangladesh to watch out for this year.
Yes, Bangladesh has its own search engine. Pipilika allows for searches in both Bangla and English.
LightCastle Partners provides market insights, consumer research, and industry due diligence through its platform LightCastle Data.
Bongo is the first and largest cloud-based Bangladeshi entertainment catalog with a growing library of over 30.000 on-demand full movies, dramas, TV shows, music videos and songs—all available online.
Bikroy is a popular online platform for buying and selling new and second-hand goods. The website features free advertising for philanthropic and non-profit purposes and has managed to generate a lot of hype and interest through its innovative marketing campaigns.
Buckets Engineer delivers subscription-based services to 1.5 million autistic kids in Bangladesh to improve their skills. The startup has developed a hub of applications and tools that allow parents, therapists, and educators to create customized, dynamic learning approaches adapted for children with learning disabilities.
AmarBill is a newly-launched online bill payment service that initially offers payment services for Bangladeshi telecom operators, but will include other payment services (e.g., utilities) in the future.
Biponee aims to become the primary ecommerce platform in Bangladesh to take advantage of the region’s large retail market and high rate of internet penetration (10x in recent years).
Sobji Bazaar is a digital superstore of sorts, offering various foods, household products, and others goods. The service allows the Bangladeshi population to avoid wasting time in traffic on the way to the grocery store.
This website features Bangladesh’s largest online shopping database and contains product/pricing information for a wide variety of products. It also compares prices to help users locate the best deal.
Launched in 2012, Rokomari is essentially a local version of Amazon.com that sells books and music by Bangladeshi writers and artists.
Bangladesh360.net is a 360 degree virtual tour photography website offering an interactive way to explore the best sights of Bangladesh online.
Similar to freelancing platforms like UpWork or Fivver, Belancer is the first online job marketplace in Bangladesh.
Doctorola is the first online platform in Bangladesh for setting doctor appointments. The offering provides real-time information and appointments through a fully-integrated calendaring and booking system.
Chaldal is an online grocery store featuring a wide range of local and international goods. Orders are delivered directly to customers and are paid for by cash on delivery.
BDCABS is an on-demand transportation app that matches riders with a licensed commercial taxi or auto-rickshaw driver.
Honorable Mentions: Government Projects
The Bangladeshi government has been promoting and supporting tech innovation in the country and has launched several initiatives to spur local startup activity. The following represent some of the best of their efforts.
Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park is a government initiative for support IT-related projects, training, and career development. The institution’s goals are to establish a world class business environment for developing and marketing technology products and services locally.
Access to Information (a2i) is a joint project between the Bangladesh government and the UNDP. Its main purpose is to deliver government information and services to the desktops and screens of the general population.
infokosh.gov.bd is an online resource provided by the Bangladesh government to citizens for accessing government information of all sorts. It also happens to be the the world’s largest web directory.
The region’s tech startup ecosystem may be young but its forward-thinking entrepreneurs are hard at work developing the products and services of Bangladesh’s tomorrow. Be sure to watch closely as this growing community of entrepreneurs—supported by government initiatives born in last few years—transform the country’s landscape of innovation in the months and years ahead.