It was 2012. I was feeling that something was brewing in Kathmandu, Nepal. There was a new wave of enthusiasm, drive and hunger to start something-among the youth. Events were happening almost every weekend. There was Startup Weekend Kathmandu, PIVOT Nepal, hackathons to name a few.
The journey from 2012 to now has been long and many tech startups are able to get first mover’s advantage in the domestic market or selling their product/service abroad. Nepalese consumers are becoming more digitally savvy, mobile/internet penetration is growing and we’re noticing a rising ecommerce scene. Founded in 2011, SastoDeal recently got investment from Dolma Dolma’s website states Dolma Advisors Pvt. Ltd. is a consulting firm providing investment advice to international investors including Dolma Impact Fund – the first international private equity fund for Nepal, investing in various sectors and making sustainable and positive social and environmental impact. Stories like SastoDeal is good for the local startup ecosystem. It tells the aspiring and current tech company founders that if you need to take your growing company to another level, there are companies out there to assist you. But first you have to come up with an idea, execute it and show growth. SastoDeal took a risk and bet that ecommerce was going to become popular and culturally accepted over time throughout Nepal. Now most young consumers are shopping online from portals like SastoDeal, Daraz Nepal and Urban Girl etc. Also payment gateways are aplenty and ISP’s are providing better bandwidth at lower prices all helping boost Nepal’s digital economy.
In a lot of the startup/entrepreneurship related events that I had attended in Kathmandu in recent years, I felt that there was not many technology domain investors and funding opportunities available for tech startups. Now we might be seeing a few startups getting some investment to grow their business. If your online/mobile business is growing, the investors will find you. You have to build your business first. If you’re waiting for investors to come knocking so you can start your venture then you will be waiting forever. Start now.