06 Sep 2021
VEON announces the sale of its Russian tower assets for USD 970 million
Investment strengthens VEON’s partnership with Bangladesh’s largest full-stack B2B commerce platform
Amsterdam, 7 September 2021 - VEON Ltd. (NASDAQ: VEON, Euronext Amsterdam: VEON), a leading global provider of connectivity and internet services, has increased its investment in ShopUp, Bangladesh’s leading full-stack B2B commerce platform. The investment has been made by the Group’s VEON Ventures division alongside Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures), Flourish Ventures and Sequoia Capital India, as part of ShopUp’s Series B investment round.
ShopUp has raised USD 75 million through this investment round, which was led by Valar Ventures. It follows the company’s Series A in October 2020, in which VEON participated as ShopUp’s first strategic corporate investor. The proceeds will be used to build best-in-class infrastructure, expand categories and launch new financial products to help meet the needs of underserved small retailers in Bangladesh.
ShopUp’s oversubscribed investment round is the largest Series B for a B2B commerce platform in South Asia. The round brings ShopUp’s total funding to over USD 110 million, making it the best-funded start-up in Bangladesh. Over the past 12 months, ShopUp has grown its revenues by over 13 times and has seen an 11-fold increase in the number of total shipments enabled by its platform.
Erik Aas, CEO of Banglalink, VEON’s mobile operator in Bangladesh, said: “ShopUp has proven itself to be an innovator in mobile e-commerce and is a venture that we are proud to be partnering with. This round will allow ShopUp and Banglalink to broaden our services offer for Bangladesh’s micro and SMEs, which are the backbone of the nation’s retail industry.”
Hans-Holger Albrecht, Chair of VEON’s Digital and Innovation Committee, said: ”We are pleased to see the market’s validation of our investment in ShopUp through the valuation assigned to this latest investment round. We look forward to our continued partnership in e-commerce and mobile financial services, where our combined expertise can help us grow these exciting market opportunities together.”
VEON’s investment in ShopUp reflects the Group’s growing focus on digital services, which are enjoying rapid customer adoption as VEON increases the reach of its 4G networks through an accelerated investment programme. ShopUp complements the range of services currently offered by Banglalink, which include its leading mobile entertainment app Toffee, which now reaches 5 million active customers.
About VEON and ShopUp
VEON is a NASDAQ and Euronext Amsterdam-listed global provider of connectivity and digital services serving nine countries, which together are home to 9% of the world’s population. Our companies are transforming lifestyles through technology-driven services that empower opportunity in some of the world’s fastest-growing emerging markets. For more information, visit: www.veon.com.
ShopUp is Bangladesh’s largest full-stack B2B commerce platform for small businesses. The three products of our full-stack offerings are: Bangladesh's largest B2B commerce platform, embedded Buy Now Pay Later for retailers, and the largest last-mile logistics network. Our mission is to put 4.5 million neighbourhood shops in the driving seat of the fastest growing economy in Asia. To know more about, visit www.shopup.com.bd.
This release contains "forward-looking statements", as the phrase is defined in Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are not historical facts, and include statements relating to, among other things, the potential benefits of the transaction described above. Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which VEON cannot predict with accuracy and some of which VEON might not even anticipate. The forward-looking statements contained in this release speak only as of the date of this release. VEON does not undertake to publicly update, except as required by U.S. federal securities laws, any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after such dates or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.