In 2015 Nepal Impact Investment Club started investing in Smart Tech Solution, the Nepalese producer of 3D software forroad construction. Thanks to this investment and the advice of technology expert and NIIC member, Peter van der Fluit, the company is expanding rapidly.
3D software designed by the American company, Autodesk, is used to construct roads all over the worldbutit is far too expensive for Nepal so Nepalese engineers still use manual drawings. Smart Tech Solution, Dibyesh Giri’s, company has responded by coming up with “Smart Road” - excellent quality software at a reasonable price. Smart Road means that an engineer’s workload is reduced from several months to several weeks.
“In developing countries Smart Tech Solution is a disruptive player in road construction,” said Peter van der Fluit. “The software giant Autodesk cannot possibly compete price-wise.” Infrastructure in Nepal leaves much to be desired and since it’s the only company able to provide software, Smart Tech has great potential.
He met Dibyesh Giri at Rockstart Impact Demo Day 2014 in Amsterdam. “I was immediately impressed; a clever entrepreneur with a great deal of tech know-how and no pretentions. Despite its limited budget Smart Tech is doing well. They sell their software to the Nepalese government and work with the World Bank. They have also developed software for the construction of canals and Dibyesh is now looking at Bangladesh as a market opportunity.”
Van der Fluit is connected to the American Chasm Group, lectures at the Amsterdam Business Schooland invests in a variety of companies in the UK and the US. He wanted to combine investing in Smart Tech with an advisory role in the company and the set-up offered by Nepal Impact Investment Club gave him the opportunity. “The fund is a good vehicle to attract more money, manage investments and make an impact together.”
Each member can contribute his/her own expertise. Apart from Smart Tech Solution, the fund invests in a privately run school - the Bloom School. “I’m also very enthusiastic about the school but that’s not my field. Because of my background at tech companies like HP, GE and TomTom I can really help Smart Tech to scale-up. That gives great satisfaction. It’s fantastic when you see how sound business practice achieves good results in a developing country.”