We made a round up of startups--in technology and impact--who made us proud this year. Our picks raised funds this year, continued to innovate in their sectors and used the best of tools in technology to solve pressing problems.
Best Young Scientist Award, Japan
Arif Hossain, a Bangladeshi national doing his PhD in Japan, was recognised as the best young scientist of the far-eastern country. Japanese Society for Inherited Metabolic Diseases (JSIMD) awarded Arif with the Best Young Scientist Award for his innovation of mechanism and treatment of Lysosomal diseases. He is the first non-Japanese in JSMID’s 61-year history to receive the award. Born at Bhatipara in Kashiani upazila of Gopalganj district, Arif is the youngest of eleven siblings. On completion of his HSC from Government Bangla College, he obtained his MBBS degree from Rajshahi Medical College Hospital and did post-graduation from the same institution.
Supercharging your local micro-retail shop into e-commerce hubs
Deligram is an e-commerce platform that is omni-channel, allowing customers to enjoy both the convenience of online shopping and trusted relationships of their mudir dokan. Customers can order from the Deligram mobile app, website or use the network of neighborhood dgAgents as a pickup point for deliveries. dgAgent outlets also have tablets to shop online with help from the trained agents. We celebrate Deligram’s progress as their model is an example of much needed innovation that strives to localise technology to best serve the needs of consumers in Bangladesh.
Trucks, trucks, trucks!
Truck Lagbe is Bangladesh’s first digital platform for booking trucks. You can book a truck on your smart phone in minutes like an Uber or Pathao. In less than a year, the company has grown to a 70,000+ truck network and is already servicing large corporates such as Transcom Group and Bashundhara Group. Foreign investors have taken notice, and the company raised over one million in seed financing.
Help, always at hand
Maya is an anonymous messaging platform that digitally connects subject matter experts to users with queries. In Bangladesh, an expert doctor, lawyer or therapist can often be out of reach due to financial, socio-cultural and geographical barriers. This service changes that and gives anyone with a phone access to accurate, credible and timely medical, legal, psychological, social, lifestyle & fitness advice.
Revolutionising the music stream
It has been more than a full decade since Spotify revolutionised the music streaming industry, through its responsive app and its intuitive and intelligent A.I. Imagine Radio aims to give the artists a platform to distribute their songs directly to the audience. It boasts a large selection, more than 10 million tracks of both local and international music, and plans to expand on the collection in the near future. Local artists will be paid a royalty fee for their songs on the app, which will be somewhat popularity oriented.
Making money from your laptop
Sabbir Ahmed and Ahsan Ahmed came together to develop an online local freelance marketplace, KajKey.com. KajKey is positioning itself as the one-stop solution for both freelancers and employers. Graphic designers, webpage and app developers, digital marketers and freelancers of other expertise can sign up for free and build their profiles. Employers can post their projects and receive immediate responses from interested freelancers. It is as of now the most efficient way to create a link between employers and freelancers in Bangladesh.
The Uber of handymen
HandyMama is an on-demand platform for maintenance and handyman services. Like Uber, HandyMama connects users or customers with verified service professionals like painters, carpenters, plumbers, etc., basically handymen. HandyMama is a great example of technology that is meant to make our lives easier.
Changing the face of logistics and transport, one customer at a time
Shohoz started its journey in late 2014 by digitising the online ticket booking process. Then Shohoz launched ride sharing and entered the on-demand logistics business in 2018 by launching food delivery services in the heart of Dhaka. This year, Shohoz secured a whopping $15 million in series B; we look forward to seeing how they expand and improve in the coming year.