Shomvob, the business to business (B2B) job-tech and human resource (HR) tech platform in Bangladesh, has on Thursday announced a $1 million pre-seed financing round led by
Singapore-based early-stage venture capital firm Cocoon Capital.

Shomvob said in a statement that it 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.

“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,” said Rifad Hossain, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Shomvob.

Shomvob was founded by Rifad Hossain, Naqib Muhammad Faiyaz, and Hasibur Rahman in May in 2022 and is dedicated to supporting the blue and silver-collar workforce.

It is noted that currently, more than 650,000 corporations and small and medium-sized enterprises (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 percent 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.

Since launch, Shomvob 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 Passport to Earning (P2E) 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.

It is noted that the recruitment and staffing market opportunity in Bangladesh is valued at $17 billion with a broader Asian market size of $250 billion growing 8 percent annually.

Shomvob said its platform is uniquely positioned to expand to other emerging and developing countries with similar employment challenges.

“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,” said Zong Xi Sia, Investment Director at Cocoon Capital.

“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,” he added.

Sia recently joined the Shomvob board of directors.

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