CloudFactory Holdings Limited

Founded in 2010 by Mark Sears, CloudFactory emerged from a mission to connect a million people in developing nations to online work, providing dignified and sustainable livelihoods. CloudFactory empowers AI leaders with human-in-the-loop AI solutions, integrating people, process, and technology to deliver high-quality training data and monitor in-production models. Dolma Impact Fund invested in 2017 to support the company’s expansion into new markets. Since then, CloudFactory has become a global leader in on-demand workforce solutions, specialising in Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing, and Data Processing.

With Dolma’s backing, CloudFactory’s revenue surged at a CAGR of 77%. Notable achievements include a successful Series C funding round in 2019, raising $65MN led by FTV Capital, and a strategic partial exit by Dolma with an IRR of 56%. The company has evolved its strategy to focus on a Human-in-the-loop platform, acquiring Hasty Inc, a data-centric machine learning platform, to transition data labelling to AI-assisted methods. The hiring of Pigter Nel as CTO further emphasises a data-centric AI strategy.

With a global presence in five countries and recognition as the Medium-sized Company of the Year at The AI Journal Global Excellence Awards in 2022, CloudFactory continues to thrive as a tech-forward, scalable, and impactful organisation, delivering accurate and reliable Human-in-the-loop solutions to accelerate AI.

Fusemachines Inc.

In 2019, Dolma invested in FM, which at that time was a fast-growing Al Solution provider with seed investment from many other institutional and individual investors focusing on scaling the business through new service offerings and expanding to broader geographies. In 2020, FM’s revenue fell by 41% because of the pandemic and FM revised its operational and marketing budgets by almost 50%. Despite this contraction, in 2021, FM started onboarding larger enterprise clients who initially started off with smaller contract sizes but started upselling due to their quality of service and dedication. They raised further investment of USD 1 Mn from BO2 in Nepal and are preparing for a bigger fund raise internationally in 2023.

The company currently serves 26 clients and houses over 350 employees across all divisions. New hires in the top management include VP of Sales and Marketing, VP of Data Eng. Services and VP of Finance. The proportion of enterprise clients in FM’s portfolio continues to increase, which serves as a major positive in the current global economic scenario. The company has turned EBITDA positive and continues to register a healthy margin in its services. In 2022, the company has onboarded clients such as WPP, NetApp, Husslup, Winks, QSC and UpaCare Health and has increased upsells with major clients such as Avodah, Butterfly and Omnicon Media Group. In Nepal, the company has signed an MOU with Kathmandu University to support with curriculum development and provide Al courses.

Makar Jitumaya Suri Hydropower Ltd

Himal Gurung, a resident of Suri Village, initiated the development of a 6.4 MW hydropower facility in 2011 to address severe power shortages in his community. Recognizing its potential, Dolma Impact Fund provided equity investment in 2016, ensuring financial closure and establishing a lasting partnership with Suri Khola Hydropower Ltd. Suri Khola Hydropower Ltd combined with its sister firm Makar Jitumaya Limited to become Makar Jitumaya Suri Hydropower Limited, a new legal entity (Suri), with a total installed capacity of 13.4 MW.

The Lower Suri Power Plant (6.4 MW) became operational on May 1, 2022, overcoming challenges like earthquakes and economic embargoes. Dolma’s support extended to key personnel recruitment and an ESG Masterclass Workshop by Paterson Sustainability. The project, completed within budget, generated USD 1 Million in 2022, supplying clean energy, preventing 49,500 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and showcasing positive impacts on both people and the environment.

The ongoing 7 MW ROR hydropower project (Upper Suri HPP) received crucial backing from Dolma, facilitating successful financial closure with three Nepalese commercial banks. Anticipated to begin electricity generation in Q2 2023, the company aims to list shares on the Nepali Stock Exchange during the same period, fundraising for project completion. As a community-focused initiative, 10 percent of share capital will be allocated to locally affected individuals.

Nidan Hospital Ltd

Since Dolma’s investment, Nidan Hospital has transformed from a small clinic into a 50-bed facility, excelling in outpatient and inpatient services. New management, guided by a vision of providing quality and affordable healthcare, expanded services to include specialties like Nephrology, Urology, Gastroenterology, and more. Nidan Hospital is one of three hospitals licensed for kidney transplant surgery in Nepal.

Despite limited resources during COVID-19, Nidan Hospital treated over 1,500 patients. Dolma’s support facilitated internal streamlining, improved corporate governance, and brought in technical experts to identify new revenue streams and upgrade infrastructure. Ongoing upgrades include a new building with enhanced services like a blood collection area, pharmacy, café, CT scan, and ultrasound, improving the patient experience.

Nidan Hospital’s in-house laboratory operates at full capacity. A shift in doctor recruitment focuses on younger, tech-savvy professionals. Core operations prioritise quality and timely services, with efforts directed at increasing revenue through patient acquisition, retention, and automated services. Dolma’s impact is evident in Nidan Hospital’s evolution into a key player in Nepal’s healthcare landscape.

Rhododendron Biotech Pvt. Ltd

Established in 2009, Rhododendron Biotech Pvt. Ltd (RBPL) specialises in pharmaceutical manufacturing, notably the production of haemodialysis fluid, a critical product for kidney patients in Nepal. Despite initial success, RBPL faced sluggish growth in 2014-2015. In 2016, Dolma Impact Fund I became an equity partner, providing much-needed capital and unlocking growth potential. The immediate impact was a remarkable 109% revenue growth in 2016.

In 2021, DOS Group joined forces with Dolma, bringing strategic investors with extensive Nepal business experience. Dolma facilitated a technical assistance program, enabling RBPL to hire finance and business consultants, streamline operations, and prepare for a new facility. RBPL now supplies 95% of dialysis centres in Nepal.

The company’s success continued, with a 37% revenue increase in 2022, resulting in a 314% profit rise. Significant renovations were made to the factory, including automation, expanded R&D, and a focus on quality improvement and cost reduction. RBPL plans to venture into powdered drugs and tablets/capsules, constructing a new facility and conducting R&D. They recently launched two disinfecting agents: CITROL-M PLUSTM and RB-CHLORITE TM.

Solar Farm Limited

Solar Farm Nepal, the pioneer in Nepal’s solar energy sector, signed the first on-grid solar Independent Power Production Agreement (PPA) with the Nepal Electricity Authority for a 5 MW Grid-connected Solar PV Project. Dolma Impact Fund played a crucial role in project completion, providing technical inputs in finalisation of the Operation and Maintenance contract, liaising for credit issues, and aiding in regulatory matters.

The project, operational since October 18, 2021, generated 8.12 GWh in 2022, yielding USD 440K in revenue. With Dolma’s support, Solar Farm is set to become the first solar project listed on Nepal’s stock exchange, transitioning to a public company in January 2023. This milestone signifies a positive transformation in Nepal’s energy sector, laying the groundwork for future investments and growth.

Sastodeal

When Amun Thapa came back to Nepal from the USA, he could not find a solution where he could search for various products at once. He also found that the market lacked transparency; thus, Sastodeal was launched in 2011 by a group of friends as a daily deals platform where customers could search for vendors and receive discounts. Since then, the company has come a long way in becoming the largest homegrown ecommerce platform in Nepal.

By 2013, the company pivoted from providing daily deals to full-fledged e-commerce marketplace by leveraging technology to deliver goods at home. The company eventually expanded its delivery network via 3PL partners outside of Kathmandu. Televentures was the first external investor who was on board in 2016. Since then, the company has raised capital from various institutional investors such as ICTC group, IME group and a local merchant bank, NIBL Ace Capital. Dolma invested in Sastodeal in 2018 with USD 500k believing in the founder and the company’s vision to change the ecommerce landscape in Nepal. Since then, Dolma has invested a total of USD 2.67 Mn. The company has raised its GMV by more than 9 times during this timeframe. The recent commitment of NIBL capital to invest up USD 1 Mn is a testimony of Sastodeal’ s ability to continue changing the ecommerce landscape in Nepal.

Sastodeal has also secured a USD 60K grant from UNCDF to incorporate 3,500 new Micro Small Medium Enterprise (MSME) vendors across the country. It has more than 10 Mn registered users and 1,000+ local vendors who engage in transactions through the platform. Sastodeal has now reduced its delivery time to 3 days and has reduced users’ cancellation to less than 10%. It has a positive gross margin. The company is on a path to become operationally sustainable. Despite intense competition from foreign players in the market, Sastodeal is continuously growing its market presence all over Nepal. In addition, Sastodeal is currently working on a cross-border strategy with Flipkart, an Indian e-commerce giant, focusing on technology integration and onboarding of Flipkart vendors into Sastodeal’s platform. Throughout their journey, Dolma has assisted Sastodeal in expanding its business, scaling up operations and connecting with international peers.

Swet Ganga Hydropower & Construction Ltd

Sanima Group, founded in 1999, initiated its hydropower journey with Sanima Hydropower Ltd, developing the Sunkoshi Small Hydropower Plant (2.6 MW). In 2005, Swet Ganga was established to achieve a cumulative total of 400 MW of hydro projects by 2030. Under the leadership of Sanima Group, Swet Ganga is developing the 28.1 MW Lower Likhu Hydropower Project (LLHP) in Ramechhap District, Bagmati Province.

Dolma Impact Fund invested USD 3.5 MN in ordinary equity, beginning in 2017. Facilitating non-recourse financing from local banks, Dolma played a pivotal role in setting ESG standards and implementing international practices. The company made history in 2022 as the first hydropower firm with foreign investment to be publicly listed on the local stock market, oversubscribed by 7.5x. Reserved shares for local residents amounted to USD 1.27 MN (NPR 159 MN), oversubscribed by 2.57x.

Commercially operational since Nov 2022, the company supplies electricity to Nepal Electricity Authority. Dolma, benefiting from a reduced lock-in period (1 year instead of 3), is positioned to sell shares in Q3 2023, contrasting with the 3-year lock-in period for general promoters.