Acclaimed startup Cookups has announced a shut down of its operations in app and food delivery service. In a Facebook post earlier this evening, Cookups made the announcement, stating lack of sufficient funding as one of the reasons to discontinue.
However, the Cookups Facebook page will stay for their other venture, Cookups Rannaghor. Cookups Rannaghor is a delivery only kitchen serving Bangla cuisine.
Cookups released the following statement today:
It is with a very heavy heart that we need to announce that we have decided to discontinue and shut down operations for the Cookups app and food delivery service. Today will be our last day of deliveries. We are very sorry it had to come to this as we were unable to raise sufficient funding to continue. Thank you immensely for being part of that part of our journey and for believing in us and we are grateful for the opportunity we had to bring you delicious food from amazing cooks from around the city. We are however going to use this page for our venture Cookups Rannaghor going forward, which as of now you can order through Uber Eats.
Cookups began its journey in 2016, headed by entrepreneur duo Namira Hossain and Misha Ali. It rose to popularity in the following years as the largest online marketplace in Bangladesh for healthy homemade food.
As of 25th June 2019, approximately three hundred of Pathao employees have been dismissed without any warning or notice. Among those three hundred who were dismissed, were top-level employees as well.
Although, there has been no official word on this from the Pathao authorities. The mass dismissal was confirmed from multiple employees that were dismissed.
An internal source from Pathao confirmed that approximately three hundred employees were fired. They were dismissed Tuesday morning, today, unnoticed. Among the dismissed, there was an executive assistant manager and several department heads. Many of them were stationed in different departments of Pathao.
The subsequent vague responses from Pathao’s social media page and its Vice President didn’t do much to help the case they were trying to make. Customer feedback amounted to demands of boycotting the product, and it is safe to say Pathao hasn’t really come out of the event with as polished an image as they’d like.
The ensuing attempts by Pathao at ameliorating the damage done weren’t exactly astute. The reason the scandal happened in the first place was because Pathao couldn’t respond appropriately to the accuser. It was one person who unearthed the bones in their closet, one person swinging like a pendulum between self-interest and public wellbeing. Pathao pushed him over the edge by threatening with dubious legal action.
This resulted in the guy going public with information that was later corroborated by news portals and security experts. An update was made to the app that allegedly doesn’t steal your data anymore. But if anyone is still using the previous version of the app, we’re afraid your data are still being copied to Pathao servers.
The Bug Bounty Program
It seemed like Pathao would simply wait for the negative attention to die down, as people would resort to the service anyway. But on February 12th, they did something worth noting.
Such programs are always welcome. It’s reassuring to see companies being confident about the integrity of their technology. And such programs are commonplace for many other prominent companies.
What struck me is that in the very first paragraph, the case was made in the context of security breaches in prominent developers and their platforms. I just want to point out that Pathao can’t exactly claim the high ground when the context of the discussion is internet security.
Moreover, the issue we had with Pathao’s security system was never attributed to a bug, a mistake in their algorithm. Their security breach issues were seemingly very deliberate in nature. No one from Pathao stated that copying user data was a mistake or the result of a vulnerability in the system of the app. Attempts were made instead to justify the act. So, my raised eyebrow at this news might not be completely attributable to cynicism.
Not sure how to feel about this
Pathao has had its fair share of blunders. Even today, Pathao riders are more willing to deal with desperate customers directly than use the app as they should. And Pathao hasn’t really done much to mitigate situations like that.
Honestly, the bug bounty program is a good idea.
It can generate some degree of positivity regarding customer feedback, should it succeed. But with this initiative, it feels like Pathao isn’t addressing the right issues. And attention is being diverted from the more pressing complaints people have; complaints that haven’t been probably addressed yet, deliberately or not.