Global Startup: Bangladesh's Position and Insights

Global Startup: Bangladesh's Position and Insights

Global Startup: Bangladesh's Position and Insights

Startupblink, an international research institute dedicated to analyzing the global startup ecosystem, has released its Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2024. This report provides a comprehensive overview of the startup landscape across different countries and cities, offering valuable insights into their rankings and progress.

Bangladesh's Ranking and Regional Comparison

In the 2024 index, Bangladesh has achieved a rank of 83 out of 100 countries, marking an improvement of six places from the previous year. Despite this progress, Bangladesh remains at the bottom among South Asian countries, trailing behind India (19th), Pakistan (71st), and Sri Lanka (76th).

South Asian Context

Bangladesh's position in the regional context highlights the challenges it faces in the competitive South Asian startup ecosystem. While Indian cities dominate the regional landscape, Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, has shown significant improvement by entering the list of the top 150 cities globally, now ranking 140th, up by 71 positions from 2023. Dhaka holds the eighth position in South Asia, emphasizing its growing potential despite regional competition.

Global Leaders in the Startup Ecosystem
The top five countries for startups in 2024 are

  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Israel
  4. Canada
  5. Sweden

Leading Cities
The leading cities in the global startup ecosystem are

  1. San Francisco
  2. New York
  3. London
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Boston

These cities continue to be hubs of innovation and investment, driving the global startup economy forward.

Dhaka's Performance and Sectoral Strengths

Dhaka's entry into the top 150 cities globally and its 140th position among the top 1000 cities is a significant achievement. It is noteworthy that Dhaka ranks seventh in South Asia for agriculture technology-based startups and is among the top 100 globally for transportation-based startups.

Asia Pacific Region

In the Asia Pacific region, which comprises 159 startup economies across 19 countries, Bangladesh ranks 18th. This position has remained unchanged for the past four years, with Kyrgyzstan following Bangladesh.

Sectoral Trends

Globally, the leading sectors for startups are software and data, followed by e-commerce and retail, health, finance, and education. In Bangladesh, notable startups include Pathao, Shopup, Sahaj, Arogya, and Ten Minute School, which have made significant contributions to the local ecosystem.

Challenges and Recommendations

Despite its strong economic potential, Bangladesh's startup sector requires more government support and infrastructure improvements, particularly in internet stability. Enhanced policy support, increased investment in corporate ventures, and better collaboration between industrial and academic institutions are crucial for the sector's growth.

Investment Insights

According to Shamim Ahsan, President of the Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of Bangladesh (VCPIAB) and Managing Director of E-Generation, regional investment dynamics favor India and Pakistan, leaving Bangladesh with limited regional investment benefits. He emphasizes the need for stronger domestic investment support and better global representation of Bangladesh's startup ecosystem.

Recent Investment Trends

Lightcastle Partners, a domestic consulting firm, reported that Bangladesh received about $7 million in investment in the first quarter of 2024, a 70% decrease from the previous quarter. More than 75% of this investment originated from outside the country. Historically, Bangladesh's quarterly investments have consistently fallen below $10 million, except for the last quarter of 2023.

Global Context

The global startup investment landscape has been declining since 2021, with 2023 witnessing the lowest investment volume in five years. The first quarter of 2024 saw the second-lowest investment globally since 2018, driven by economic recession and inflation. Additionally, layoffs in the IT and startup sectors have increased, influenced by the economic downturn and advancements in artificial intelligence. Major tech companies like Meta and Google are focusing more on AI, resulting in significant workforce reductions.

Bangladesh's progress in the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2024 is commendable, yet challenges remain. Strategic government support, improved infrastructure, and better global representation are essential to leverage the country's economic potential fully. As global startup investment trends evolve, Bangladesh must adapt and strengthen its domestic investment framework to sustain and enhance its startup ecosystem.

This report offers a detailed overview of Bangladesh's position in the global startup ecosystem, contextualizing its performance within South Asia and highlighting key sectoral strengths and challenges. It underscores the need for strategic interventions to foster a more robust startup environment in the country.

   


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