Jamuna Group to invest Tk 10bn in troubled e-commerce firm Evaly

Jamuna Group is investing Tk 10 billion in Evaly at a time when the e-commerce firm is making headlines for delivery delays and being probed for alleged embezzlement and money-laundering.

In a statement on Tuesday, Evaly announced that Jamuna will invest the total sum in phases, starting off with Tk 2 billion.

However, neither party has disclosed the market value of the e-commerce company.

Mohammad Rassel, founder and CEO of Evaly, said, "We as a local venture are really pleased to have another local company by our side. The money will be spent on the future development and business scope of Evaly.”

The firm was recently asked by the commerce ministry to explain irregularities and give accounts of income, expenditures and debts, along with a future plan.

Several months ago, Evaly handed refund cheques to some customers who never received their products after waiting for a long time.

However, Rassel recently took to Facebook to say that the digital marketplace will deliver products, even if with a delay, but it will not refund the customers.

“We’re trying to get more investment to deliver old orders to customers and clear our backlogs,” Rassel said while confirming Jamuna’s investment.

“The local e-commerce firm Evaly has already made a position of its own in Bangladesh. Evaly is working to fulfil the dreams of the common people of the country,” said Shamim Islam, managing director of Jamuna Group, according to the statement.

“Jamuna Group has been working for the welfare of the country and its people for over 50 years as well. From now on, Evaly and Jamuna Group have become partners in fulfilling those dreams.”

Monica Islam, a director of Jamuna, said the group has been “doing business with quality products and services in the country's market.”

“Jamuna Future Park is the largest offline marketplace in Bangladesh. And now Evaly will remain as the largest online marketplace with Jamuna Group.

“We have stood by them in their difficult times, believing in Evaly's honest business intentions to take digital Bangladesh and the country's e-commerce sector forward to a strong position.”

The commerce ministry recently met amid allegations against Evaly and some other online marketplaces over delay in delivery or not refunding after failure to deliver the products.

Referring to a central bank report, it asked why Evaly’s liabilities were over Tk 4.07 billion when the current assets were only Tk 651.7 million on Mar 14.

The ministry also asked for details on the current state of its dues to the merchants and the undelivered orders.

The Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating allegations of embezzlement and money-laundering against Evaly. A court has also slapped overseas travel bans on Evaly MD Rassel and his wife Shamima Nasrin, who is also chairman of the firm, as part of the investigation.