Carpooling Startup Buddy Limited Lunches In Dhaka and Urban Mobility 2.0

Feb 2, 2019

FS Brief:

  • Buddy, a new car-hailing service based on the concept of carpooling called, started formal operations in Dhaka yesterday. Buddy provides carpooling service to a host of destinations within Dhaka and promises to provide economical service to the users.
  • Developed by the Invariant Telecom, a concern of Microtrade Group, Buddy differentiates itself from existing ride-hailing services in Dhaka as a multi-passenger carpooling service that could offer economical service since multiple passengers will be sharing the cost of a ride and positions itself on the right side of traffic congestion discussion in Dhaka for which ride-hailing companies have already started to get some blame for.
  • In order to avail Buddy services, users will have to download Buddy app, which they can do from android play store or Apple app store, register as users. Once you are registered on the app, you can select your pick up point and drop off point, once you order a ride, a driver will come and pick you up along with other passengers and drop you off in your destination.
  • One of the key features Buddy is trying to promote is that it is economical compared to other ride-sharing apps. Because in most ride-hailing apps a single user pays for the whole ride alone, whereas at Buddy, it is a group ride and everyone shares the cost. Even if you are the only passenger on the vehicle, Buddy does not charge you more than your share of the cost.
  • Buddy also claims that it will help address the better utilization of private vehicle in the city and contribute to solving traffic and public transport challenge.
  • Buddy currently has ten microbuses and plans to offer trips on a long distance basis. The service currently operates on a limited number of routes.

FS Insight:

The ride-hailing market has peaked in Bangladesh and Buddy has managed to enter the market at the right time when we are seeing a slow start of a more serious discussion around the contribution of ride-hailing to the overall public transport system. It has been a hot topic in markets like the US and EU where companies like Uber are now taking initiative to accommodate public transport into their offering.

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Ruhul Kader is a technology and business analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at

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