Pathao has launched a car service today in Dhaka, marking the first time that the company has offered rides on four-wheeled vehicles, which looks like an apparent move to counter Uber which has announced to launch its Uber Moto service in Dhaka early this week.
The service, called Pathao Cars, launches today in Dhaka and can be accessed from Pathao app. In a Facebook post last night, Pathao announced the launch of the service in Dhaka.
Pathao has been experiencing a rapid growth in Dhaka. The company has also launched its service in Chittagong recently, its first launch outside Dhaka.
Founded in 2015 by Hussain Elius, Shifat Adnan, and Fahim Saleh, the company started out as a consumer-facing on-demand delivery business as part of a venture experiment from now-defunct business building platform HackHouse.
In 2016, it made its foray into ride-hailing transportation space with Pathao Rides and a fleet of 200 motorbikes. The idea was to use the same fleet to carry passengers in the peak-office hours and maintain eCommerce delivery during the off-peak hours.
The company now claims to serve ‘thousands of’ rides that continues to receive rave reviews from its users.
Mobility is a big problem in Dhaka, as we wrote in a recent report. It is hard to get from one place to another in the city without spending hours on the road and the public transportation system is showing little sign of improvement.
Traffic has gotten worse over the years. According to World Bank, average traffic speed in Dhaka has dropped from 21 km/hour to 7 km/hour over the last 10 years.
According to “the Government’s own estimate, Dhaka’s traffic jams eat up 3.2 million working hours each day and drain billions of dollars from the city’s economy annually”.
Hence, we are seeing an influx in the number of mobility and on-demand transportation services in Dhaka. Dhaka has over 9 startups operating in the space including Toma, Chalo, Sam, Oikhali, Pathao, Uber, Amarbike, Amar Ride, Bahon and Muv (you may see our mobility market map here).
It seems that the market is going to be even more competitive in the coming years. International players like India’s Ola and Grab are now eyeing Bangladesh. As we reported earlier, Ola is planning to launch operations in Dhaka by the fourth quarter of this year.
Cover photo credit: Pathao Facebook Page.