AIFC participant «BILLZ» raised $650,000 with support of VentureRocket Eurasia
NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM The AIFC member, Uzbekistan-based retail startup, «BILLZ», has successfully closed a $650 000 investment round, led by a Singapore-based venture capital (VC) firm Quest Ventures, that invests in innovative projects in the region, and Sturgeon Capital, a London-based VC fund that invests in early-stage innovative projects.
BILLZ (https://billz.uz/) is an easy-to-use retail management software powered with POS, inventory management, CRM, e-commerce, and analytics for small and medium sized businesses. It helps to save time on daily retail operations and sell more by using marketing tools and analytics, the AIFC’s official website reads.
«Small and medium sized retailers are lacking access to expensive technology and facing challenges in a digital world. Our solution can tackle this problem and help retailers grow their offline businesses using powerful technology and sell products online. We are happy and thankful to Quest Ventures and Sturgeon Capital who believed in our product and team and are supporting us in this journey. We will use investments to scale our product, expand the team and improve our presence on the CIS market with focus on Kazakhstan.» said Mr Rustam Khamdamov, Co-Founder and CEO of «BILLZ».
For Quest Ventures, it was the first equity round for BILLZ.
Mr James Tan, Managing Partner of Quest Ventures, said: «BILLZ is a great example of how digitalization and automation in retail can be improved at scale. It empowers employees to focus on more value-added functions, increases efficiency, and uplifts employability». Mr James Tan, in turn, will join the company's Board of Directors.
In April 2020, Sturgeon Capital already invested $150 000 in the startup. The VC fund has made a decision to proceed with the next investment this year, due to BILLZ’s professional management team, the demonstrated viability of the product, and good traction.
«Sturgeon first invested in BILLZ in 2020, and since then the founders and company have continued to deliver the quality of execution that led us to invest in the first place. BILLZ is solving a key pain point for small retailers, who are underserved by technology and financial services in every market, and we believe BILLZ can become the leading SaaS business in the region», - said Sturgeon Capital’s investment director, Robin Butler.
BILLZ is the second technological startup that held its fundraising campaign on VentureRocket Eurasia - the first Central Asian startup management and co-investment platform founded by the AIFC Tech Hub and Titanium Technologies Group in 2021.
«It is a considerable step for the Central Asian VC market to have a new tool for investing in startups. VRE not only serves as a platform for raising capital but also unites investors, startups, and other ecosystem players in one place. We firmly believe VRE will give a new impulse for the VC development in the region and invite funds, VCs, and angel investors to join our platform», - shared Arslan Kudiyar, the CEO at VentureRocket Eurasia.
«First of all, we expect that this will allow us to enter the international market with great safety for investors, since English law operates on the territory of the AIFC. We will be able to use a different set of tools to attract investments, as well as get additional expertise from the AIFC team in terms of structuring transactions and entering large investment funds. It would also give an opportunity to motivate employees through options,» - mentioned Rustam Hamdamov, the CEO and Co-Founder of BILLZ.
The raised funds are planned to be spent on the further development of the product - business model validation, developing new functionality, and the geographical growth of the project, by entering new markets.
The new investment round of BILLZ will be partially held on the VentureRocket Eurasia platform.
To learn more and connect with BILLZ, please, register on VentureRocket Eurasia - https://eco.venturerocket.vc/.
The Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) is an independent jurisdiction launched in 2018. In accordance with the Development Strategy till 2025, the key task of the AIFC is to consolidate as a universal platform connecting the countries of the EAEU, Central Asia, and the Caucasus.
The AIFC Tech Hub is a subdivision of the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC), whose task is to promote the development of the startup ecosystem, venture industry market, e-commerce, corporate innovation, and new technological areas in Kazakhstan (FinTech, GovTech, SatelliteTech, Industry 4.0., etc.). Together with international partners, The AIFC Tech Hub conducts programs to support market players, as well as facilitates the structuring of venture deals and testing of new fintech solutions within the regulatory sandbox of the AIFC jurisdiction.
VentureRocket Eurasia is a startup ecosystem management and investment platform, set up by the Fintech Hub of the AIFC (https://tech.aifc.kz/) and the global research and innovation company, Titanium Technologies (https://titanium-tech.net/).
This is the first co-investment platform for startups in Central Asia that aims at attracting regional and global capital providers. For investors, this platform is an opportunity to connect with vetted startups, invest with other partners, and enter a global network of other ecosystem members to get startup support services from them.
Quest Ventures is one of the top VC firms in Central Asia that since 2011 has been investing in the regional startups from diverse industries (AI, e-commerce, entertainment, fintech, sports, the Islamic digital economy, and more), covering a portfolio of 100+ tech startups from Central Asia.
Sturgeon Capital is a London-based VC investing in emerging markets startups that are solving the key problems affecting the day-to-day lives of businesses and consumers. Sturgeon invests across Central and South Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe in startups from Seed to Series A.