Monday, 24 Jun, 2024

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Shomvob raises USD 1 million to transform employment access in Bangladesh

News Desk | banglanews24.com
Update: 2024-05-23 14:30:08
Shomvob raises USD 1 million to transform employment access in Bangladesh

Shomvob, the leading B2B job-tech and HR tech platform in Bangladesh today announced a USD 1 million pre-seed financing round led by Singapore-based early-stage venture capital firm Cocoon Capital.

Shomvob also received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create access to job opportunities for the low-income women population in the country. The company was founded in 2022 and is dedicated to supporting the blue and silver-collar workforce.

Currently, more than 650,000 corporations and SMEs in Bangladesh face critical hiring issues for their frontline workforce due to an over-reliance on paper-based processes and information asymmetry. This often results in a mismatch of talent, causing up to 30% productivity loss. On the other hand, around 70 million people in the country struggle to find jobs that meet their expectations, often falling prey to local brokers or middlemen known as 'dalals'.

Shomvob addresses these issues by providing job seekers with a professional digital identity and a seamless application process for relevant positions. Its advanced algorithm matches candidates with suitable jobs while its Application Tracking System (ATS) offers transparent, real-time updates on application progress. For companies, Shomvob simplifies their hiring processes, reducing time and costs while ensuring compliance. 

Shomvob was founded by Rifad Hossain, Naqib Muhammad Faiyaz, and Hasibur Rahman in May 2022. Since launch, it has registered over 600,000 job seekers and more than 1,300 companies, successfully facilitating over 12,000 job placements. The jobs cover several key sectors including logistics, retail, and healthcare, demonstrating the platform’s wide-reaching impact. Shomvob has also partnered with UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited P2E (Passport to Earning) to boost the employability of job seekers. This initiative focuses on providing access to quality education, skills training, and employment opportunities for youth, particularly in underprivileged and marginalized communities.

The funds will support the development of a comprehensive Human Resources Information System (HRIS) that encompasses everything from recruitment to payroll management, streamlining HR processes, and improving access to job opportunities; particularly for historically underserved groups. Shomvob's long-term vision includes integrating embedded financial services for its clients and expanding into the global mobility market to facilitate the movement of human resources.

The recruitment and staffing market opportunity in Bangladesh is valued at USD 17 billion with a broader Asian market size of USD 250 billion growing 8% annually. Shomvob’s platform is uniquely positioned to expand to other emerging and developing countries with similar employment challenges.

Rifad Hossain, founder & CEO of Shomvob, commented on the funding: “We are immensely grateful for the support from Cocoon Capital and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Their backing is crucial as we strive to transform the employment landscape in Bangladesh into one that is fairer and more efficient. We are also proud to be aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those aimed at eradicating poverty and promoting decent work and economic growth”, Hossain added.

"We are thrilled to make our first investment in Bangladesh with Shomvob, a company whose mission and exceptional team have deeply impressed us. Shomvob is not just addressing critical employment challenges; it is championing equitable job opportunities and inclusive growth. We believe this partnership marks a significant step towards creating lasting social impact in the region. We are excited to support their dedicated team as they continue to innovate and expand their transformative solutions”, added Zong Xi Sia, Investment Director at Cocoon Capital. Sia recently joined the Shomvob board of directors.

ABOUT SHOMVOB

Shomvob is a Dhaka-based startup providing full-stack HR tech solutions to bridge the gap between companies and job seekers. With a focus on the underserved blue and silver-collar workers, Shomvob is dedicated to creating a level playing field in the job market, its solutions are designed to support sustainable and long-term growth in emerging markets, aligned with the UN’s SDGs for no poverty and decent work. 

Since the grant program started with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Shomvob has facilitated the creation of 35,000+ digital profiles, managed 5,500+ job interviews, and confirmed 400+ jobs for the low-income female population. In Bangladesh, low-income women face significant challenges in identifying employment opportunities and accessing to job opportunities. To mitigate these gaps, Shomvob is building a scalable digital platform to connect low-income communities with employers. Shomvob also encourages and educates employers to become more gender equitable in recruitment processes.

ABOUT COCOON CAPITAL® 

Cocoon Capital® is a Singapore-based venture capital firm focusing on early-stage, enterprise tech companies across Southeast Asia with assets under management of more than USD 60m. The fund invests within the medtech, fintech, insurtech, and other deep tech verticals. It has made a total of 30 investments to date. With its slogan “Dare to Change™”, it differentiates itself by working closely with its portfolio founders to unleash their potential to change the world. Their investments include Shomvob, TransTrack.id, Augmentus, Aprisium, BuyMed, See-Mode Technologies, and Volt14 Solutions. Learn more at cocooncap.com.

BDST: 1430 HRS, MAY 23, 2024
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