Priority to innovation and financial inclusion
Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank fund is the latest high-profile investor in bKash. Photo: Getty
You know a company has done it when its noun becomes a verb.
At home, Bangladeshi fintech sensation bKash has achieved the status accorded globally to Google, Hoover and Skype. While 60 million Bangladeshis, or 36% of the population, use the platform, the caliber of investors saying “bKash me” impresses even more.
The mobile financial services company that CEO Kamal Quadir founded in 2011 has long been the country’s premier investment.
In 2013, it received the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation Seal of Approval. A year later, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation took a stake. In 2018, Jack Ma’s Ant Group became a shareholder. And in November 2021, the Quadir team secured backing from the world’s most watched and often savvy venture capital player: SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund.
Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank taking a 20% stake “means we’re building a textbook business,” Quadir told Asiamoney. It “validates our tireless dedication and effort over the past 10 years and places its faith in the potential of a well-regulated fintech space.”