KATHMANDU, June 16: Dolma Impact Fund, a private equity fund dedicated to investing in Nepal, has entered the Nepali e-commerce market with investment in the online shopping platform -- Sasto Deal.
The Dolma Impact Fund had been investing in a number of ventures such in the hydropower, pharmaceutical industries, healthcare and agriculture sectors.
According to the Fund officials, they decided to invest in e-commerce seeing its great potential in the country.
Popular among the city denizens, online shopping is expanding gradually in Nepal these days.
The fund was attracted toward Sasto Deal due to its excellent growth in the recent months, it said.
“If Sasto Deal can grow at 233% in the last quarter without us, imagine the future with Dolma's capital and contacts,” said Shabda Gyawali, senior investment manager at Dolma.
Prajwal Tamrakar, marketing manager of the e-commerce website, stated: “We had been trying to partner with Dolma Fund for about a year and now it has become possible. The agreement was so that the equity fund could assist Sasto Deal financially and strategically.”
He added: “Although it is not possible to reveal much details about the agreement, we are hopeful that this will assist the company grow in many ways, including facilities such as improved packaging and shipping that we were trying to implement for a long time.”
Sasto Deal has come a long way to become popular in Nepal, according to its founder Amun Thapa.
“In the initial years, most vendors and customers had little or no knowledge about online shopping. We and other collaborators from the industry have educated the market about e-commerce, and as a result, online shopping is a trending culture in Nepal,” said Thapa.
The company expects that through partnership with an investing firm such as Dolma, it will be able to expand e-commerce in the country by skill-generation and by attracting sellers to the online platform.
A statement by Sasto Deal read: “With Dolma's investment, the company will be able to expand its product categories, acquire talent, strengthen core operations, empower more vendors and cater to customers in most parts of the country.”
As e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Alibaba have been very popular in the international market, Nepali citizens are also expected to opt for online shopping due to rapid technological advances in the city area. Besides, increasing use of information and communication technologies in the rural parts of the country is expected to take e-commerce to the rural areas also.