ShopUp is a social commerce platform that helps micro-entrepreneurs in Bangladesh to set up a storefront on Facebook, access working capital and grow their business by automating many sales and operational processes.
ShopUp provides a range of sales and trade management tools to entrepreneurs, including product sourcing, order management, digital payment acceptance and a catalogue, cart and checkout system they use either on their Facebook page or through Messenger. ShopUp also provides worldwide shipping solutions through local and global logistics partners, and access to working capital through partnerships with SMB financial institutions and BRAC, one of the largest microfinance institutions in the world.
Working capital is a key constraint for many micro and small enterprises, who typically don’t meet the eligibility criteria for business loans. ShopUp uses a proprietary algorithm that analyzes over 2,000 data features to assess a merchant’s capital requirements and repayment capacity, then refers them to partner institutions for loans. By automating the credit assessment and management process, ShopUp has improved merchant’s access to capital and the speed of loan disbursement, while cutting the cost of lending borne by partner financial institutions by over 70%.
ShopUp, which was set up in Dhaka in 2016 by Afeef Zubaer Zaman, Siffat Sarwar and Ataur Rahim Chowdhury, currently has over 95,000 micro and small businesses on the platform.
Afeef founded his first company, a film animation & VR studio, at the age of 20 and led a team of 150 people there for four years before starting ShopUp. Siffat, who focuses on empowering women through sustainable development, worked previously at Standard Chartered and Airtel Bangladesh; Ataur is a hacker by nature who started his career selling websites to other entrepreneurs. He has more than eight years of engineering experience and has built products used by MNCs like Samsung, Unilever, Nestle and Axiata Ltd.