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Travel-Tech In Dhaka, A Mini-Series On Startup Origin Stories, And A Deep Dive Into Brain Station 23

This past week we did an excellent job at covering a host of travel-tech stories in Dhaka. I personally had a mind-expanding conversation with Haltrip Founder and CEO Tajbir Hasan, one of the youngest CEOs in travel in Dhaka, on how Haltrip has become a leader in B2B travel scene in Dhaka and the company's plan for the future. It is a fascinating story of entrepreneurship and passion. Come back later this week for our interview with Tajbir.

We started off the week with an interesting profile on Flight Expert, one of the earliest OTAs in Bangladesh. The startup has grown pretty fast and is now in a position of transition. To that end, we also produced a short story on TBBD, another very successful travel company in Bangladesh. TBBD story is a sort of reproduction from one of our previous long-form interview with TBBD founder. Last week, we ended the week with an in-depth look into Robi’s travel play Ghurbo.

Travel is a US$7 trillion industry globally. According to some sources, about 350,000 Bangladeshi travel daily. We are seeing an increased number of activities in the travel tech space in Dhaka over the last few years. Small scale funding rounds are also happening in the space. Last year, TBBD raised an undisclosed amount of investment. Flight Expert is also eyeing to raise investment this year. With the growing potential, we are hoping to see more activities in the travel tech space in the coming days.

A new ride-hailing player

A new carpooling startup called Buddy was launched last week to a pretty decent press buzz. Carpooling is not a thing yet in Dhaka but the question remains how Buddy will encourage drivers to opt for carpooling and attract drivers from competing platforms like Uber, Pathao, and Shohoz. And if it plans to do it as a centrally managed platform, scaling would be a challenge and it will be yet another transportation service.

Pieces you should read

We published an excellent interview with Brain Station 23 Founder and CEO Raisul Kabir. I personally liked and learned a ton from the discussion with Raisul Bhai. He is one of the few people I know who can think clearly and think from the first principle. The interview covers some very fascinating developments at Brain Station 23. Brain Station 23 is doing some really interesting stuff on growth and organizational design for optimal growth. It also offers a window into how Brain Station 23 thinks about its strategic future. I highly recommend the piece.

PriyoShop 7 year celebration: PriyoShop, one of the earliest ecommerce companies in Dhaka, turned 7 this month. We did a short story on how PriyoShop is doing and its most important moves in the past year. You can read it here.

A mini-series on the origins of startups

We started a mini-series on the origins of some of the interesting companies in Bangladesh title ‘how it was created’. We published two stories last week, on TBBD and Shohoz.

Share your tips/suggestions for us:

And best of Future Startup from last week…

  1. Bangladesh’s Leading Online Travel Agency Aims Higher: An Interview With Flight Expert CEO Salman Bin Rashid Shah Sayeem
  2. Carpooling Startup Buddy Limited Lunches In Dhaka and Urban Mobility 2.0
  3. How To Build The Future: An Interview With Brain Station 23 Founder and CEO Raisul Kabir (Part One)
  4. How To Fire Yourself As A Founder And Grow Your Business
  5. How To Think About The Long-term Strategic Direction Of Your Company And How To Avoid Strategic Missteps
  6. What Is The Future Of Online Travel Agency Business (OTA) In Bangladesh
  7. How Shohoz Was Created
  8. How TBBD Was Created
  9. PriyoShop Turns 7
Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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