Why did you decide to start Bonton?
In Bangladesh, we have a 95% coverage of mobile broadband networks.
But even though there's coverage, only 31 percent of the people actually go online, which means that there is a major usage gap which we wanted to target.
One of the major reasons for this usage gap is price and affordability. People needed a more affordable option to connect to the internet. And because my co-founder and I were both students, we also faced this problem of being able to afford mobile data on the go and having that connection all the time.
That is what inspired us and after researching and we found that the concept of wifi sharing actually existing existed but in a manual form. So, we just wanted that make that more efficient and also reach more people to our app.
The app is super simple, it’s a two-step process – people share their wifi and then users can go on the app to connect to the people’s wifi that is being shared.
It's like uber, but for internet, so people can use Wi-Fi on the go right now with our app.
What are you hoping to achieve in the next six to 12 months?
We are currently focusing on our growth. We want to build our network density in Dhaka so more people can actually have network access and they can use wifi on the go through our app.
We also want to focus, not only on individuals, but also businesses and machines. For example, when businesses want to implement a large-scale IoT project, the first step of such investment is getting the machines online which can be very expensive to go out and do such investments. So, we want to use our network of hosts to not only enable individuals but also businesses and industries.
What’s your traction so far?
Currently we have around 12,000 users and around 6000 people are sharing their Wi-Fi to our app right now in Dhaka.
Are you currently fundraising?
Yes, we are currently fundraising for our seed round of US$250k.
We want to use the new funding to increase the internet penetration first of all in Bangaldesh and then around the South Asian region.
We also want to bring more businesses online such as SMEs and MSMEs here so that they can take their services to people's doorsteps.
The Amplify Experience
Why would you recommend Amplify to a fellow Founder?
I would say, trust me, you missed something, but actually Accelerating Asia did not so go and check it out.
Why did you decide to join Amplify?
I felt like I had holes in the understanding of how to pitch to VCs. When I came to know about this program through fellow founders, I thought, okay, this is a very solid program where people are actually giving us a comprehensive way to get into the fundraising process and how to pitch.
So, we decided to join the program and try it out.
What problems did Amplify help you solve as a Founder?
We were looking to know the actual process of fundraising.
When we started looking into the videos, we saw that the program is really comprehensive.
You learn from the beginning - how to contact investors, how to maintain the investor panel and the relationship in the between the investors and the startup Founders.
So, everything is from scratch and we found Amplify very detailed and if somebody is looking to raise for the first time, if they want to build their team or even understand the whole process until Series A, like growing your company, finding the right growth metrics etc. you can do that with Amplify it covers all the important things.
Fundraising can be quite nerve-wracking, thanks to Amplify it's a bit less intimidating now.
What module was the highlight from Amplify?
Well, there actually three of them, the live Q&A sessions were pretty great, they were really one of the highlights for me.
And also, the interview insights from the founders. I found Fahad Ifaz, he's from iFarmer very insightful.
Also, the sessions on raising Venture Capital with Accelerating Asia’s Co-Founder Craig.
Bonton Connect was part of Amplify, our 6 module program that delivers a how-to guide to raising outside capital and 10x’ing your startup growth. Doors are now open to join Amplify.
If you are interested in connecting with Bonton please reach out to us and we can help facilitate an introduction.