Memos from Asia

Pathao: Tale of a Rideshare Startup in Bangladesh

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If you’re looking forward to joining the ride-sharing industry or planning a budget trip to Bangladesh, then this is a must-read for you.

How it all started

Bangladesh, as a developing country, has its on-demand ride-sharing service called Pathao, which was co-founded by Fahim Saleh, Hussain Elius, and Shifat Adnan back in 2015.

Unlike Uber, a top-rated ride-sharing service, Pathao initially used Motorbikes as their medium of transportation and started with only 100 bikes on the road. However, in terms of features, both Pathao and Uber are pretty similar.

Choosing bikes over cars has not only helped the company kickstart their business but also alleviated the overall traffic condition of the country.

As they grew over time, the company introduced cars as another medium of transportation, though motorbikes remained in top among the users because of its traffic friendly nature.

Later Pathao started doing food delivery and courier service, which was also a huge success.

As of now, Pathao operates in all major cities of Bangladesh and also have increased its wings in Nepal by going global. The company now worth over 100 million and has around 50 million users.

Pathao in rescue

Now, as a traveler, why should you bother to know about Pathao? How does it all connect? Well, you’re in for a treat if you’re a budget traveler and planning your next trip to Bangladesh.

For any travelers out there, it’s hard to get a grip on the expenses that are spent on local transport while roaming around in a new country or even a new city. While traveling, you can always choose your place of stay and the foods that are going to be on your menu according to your budget. However, choosing your medium of transportation in a new place can be tricky if you’re low on budget. This is where Pathao comes. 

In a country packed in traffic jams, where hours can be wasted on roads due to heavy traffic, motorbikes are the most efficient way of transportation. Where taking a car to your destination takes an hour or more, taking a motorbike can cut the time in half.

A bike ride from Pathao will cost you a lot less than renting a car or taking a taxi, and it can be as low as 20 cents considering the distance. A 5-6 dollar taxi ride can be minimized to 1 dollar through a bike ride from Pathao for the same distance.

Not to mention, you can also order traditional Bangladeshi foods through their App.

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