SEAF Invests in Software Developer in Bangladesh

SEAF Bangladesh Ventures LLC (SEAF BV) announced its investment in Systems Solutions & Development Technologies Ltd. (SSD), a leading software solutions developer in Bangladesh. SEAF BV is a permanent capital vehicle based in the US that invests in growing businesses in Bangladesh. Launched in 2010, SEAF BV is capitalized with an equity investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF), an emerging markets investment firm based in Washington DC.

Founded in 2002, SSD develops customized IT solutions for financial institutions and corporate enterprises, and provides value added services (VAS) to telecom operators in Bangladesh and in the South and South East Asia region. SSD is the market leader in loan management software solutions for Non-Banking Financial Institutions (NBFIs) in Bangladesh. Fintelligent, its proprietary financial solution serves 13 out of the 29 NBFIs in Bangladesh. SSD is also a leading provider of VAS to mobile telecom operators in Bangladesh. Its service offering primarily includes Interactive Voice Response (IVR) based applications such as voice chat and messaging, and Short Messaging Services (SMS) and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) enabled applications such as news, entertainment and infotainment. SSD serves all six mobile operators in Bangladesh, as well as operators in Malaysia, Bhutan and Nepal. In addition, the Company offers customized solutions to enterprises in Bangladesh and Malaysia.

The investment comes at an important time for SSD, in the context of the “Digital Bangladesh” vision outlined by the Government of Bangladesh, which initiative aims to enhance growth by harnessing information technology. With a population of over 160 million and GDP of over $100 billion growing at 6%, Bangladesh is one of the largest emerging markets for telecom services. A youthful demographic, increasing wireless penetration and availability of affordable smart-phones has led to a rising demand for value-added services among mobile subscribers in Bangladesh. In the financial sector, expansion of the lending activities, geographical presence, and regulatory reporting obligations of financial institutions has also created a growing market for automation. SSD’s technological capabilities and domain knowledge in these emerging sectors strongly positions the company to address the market potential. Proceeds from SEAF BV’s investment will be used to support product development and market expansion expenses that can enable SSD to target new markets in Bangladesh and in the South and South East Asia region.

“We are delighted to have SEAF as our partner, as they bring not only the investment capital but also the global experience, international network, and market linkage that can enable SSD to become a leading software developer in the region,” said Mahbubul Matin, co-founder and President of SSD. “We are excited to support the growth of this market-leading business led by a young, capable and entrepreneurial management team,” said Fahim Ahmed, co-founder and Managing Partner of SEAF BV. “SSD represents the profile of companies we seek to invest in: growing businesses that require longer term capital and strategic advisory support”, added Bert van der Vaart, Executive Chairman of SEAF.

About SEAF

Founded in 1989, Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) is an investment management group that provides growth capital and business assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in emerging and transition markets underserved by traditional sources of capital. Through its network of 21 offices around the world, SEAF invests with entrepreneurs to build successful businesses, realizing both attractive returns for its investors and a measurable development impact in local communities. Since its inception, SEAF has managed funds with capital commitments over $600 million and has made nearly 340 investments across 22 countries. Headquartered in Washington DC, SEAF employs over 130 professionals globally.

About SEAF Bangladesh Ventures LLC

SEAF Bangladesh Ventures LLC (SEAF BV) is a permanent capital vehicle, registered in Delaware USA, that invests in medium-sized businesses in Bangladesh. SEAF BV was launched in June 2010 with an equity investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF), and is managed by SEAF Ventures Management LLC, a subsidiary of SEAF. SEAF BV seeks to provide long-term capital combined with strategic advisory support to growing businesses in Bangladesh. The target investment size for SEAF BV ranges around USD 0.5 million, with scope for follow-on investments. For more information, please contact Fahim Ahmed, Managing Partner, at fahim.ahmed@seaf.com