Pathao, popular Bangladeshi ridesharing and logistics service, is set to launch its services in Nepal. They confirmed long-standing speculations through social media posts. The startup has also been actively hiring employees in Nepal using online job vacancy platforms like Merojob (as reported by a Nepal based tech news site). This is the first time a locally grown ride-sharing platform is expanding beyond Bangladesh’s borders.
Pathao was founded in 2015 by Hussain Elius, Shifat Adnan and Ahmed Fahad. The early days involved bootstrapping from a small office in Banani and being a consumer-facing on-demand delivery service. That expanded to ride sharing and food delivery. Their latest venture goes into cashless payments, demonstrating their aspirations to create a full ecosystem. Launching in Nepal said to be the first stage of Pathao’s planned global expansion.
“Pathao has built a platform that enables employment for thousands of drivers and a product that millions of customers use in Bangladesh. We are excited to take our Pathao platform internationally – starting with Nepal. We have already started to get riders on board in Nepal, and plan to launch in the next few weeks. The Pathao team is inspired to be #MovingNepal and working closely with the local ecosystem,” said Pathao CEO Hussain M Elius.
Pathao has competition
Nepal already has a few ride-sharing platforms like Tootle, Sarathi etc. However, Pathao believes it will be a strong contender once it gets a foothold in the local market.
“The Pathao team is inspired to be #MovingNepal and working closely with the local ecosystem,” said Pathao CEO Hussain M Elius.
Global investors seem to share this conviction in Pathao’s potential; Pathao is one of the country’s most invested-in startups. In November 2017, Indonesian ride sharing giant, Go-Jek, reportedly invested around US$ 2 million as part of its Series A funding. This was followed up by raising another round of investment at a valuation of over $100 million in April this year.
“Pathao will be launching its ride-sharing service at first in Kathmandu and gradually move on to its other services like food delivery and cashless payment,” said Sayeda Nabila Mahabub, Lead Marketing Manager of Pathao in a recent conversation with HiFi Public.
Growing fast, moving safely
Pathao is also facing increasing concerns about the safety of the millions of people they are moving. In order to ensure ensure the safety of its riders and passengers, Pathao is running the #MovingSafely campaign. Initiatives include distributing two sets of helmets for its registered riders. Additionally, the ride-sharing service introduced an insurance policy for its users. Pathao is expected to maintain these safety policies in Nepal, as well.
“We want to create a safe ecosystem to solve everyday problems, starting with traffic and transportation,” said Kishwar Hashemee, Vice President of Pathao, about its expansion in Nepal.
Pathao will have a soft launch in Kathmandu on 15th September. They will go into full operational capacity from 1st October 2018.