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The Future Startup Dossier: Pathao

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Mar 10, 2021

Pathao started its journey in 2015 when ride-sharing was not a common thing yet in Bangladesh. It was founded by three co-founders Hussain Elius, Shifat Adnan, and Fahim Saleh.

Pathao started off as a delivery service for several Bangladeshi ecommerce companies. The ride-hailing service of Pathao started with a Facebook group. Things speeded up after December 2016, when the Pathao app was launched. In the beginning, the ride-sharing service was only available in Dhaka. In October 2017, Pathao was launched in Chittagong. At the same time, Pathao Cars was launched In Dhaka. At present Pathao’s ride-hailing service is available in three cities of Bangladesh: Dhaka, Chittagong, and Sylhet, and in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Eventually, Pathao launched its other services: Pathao Food, Pathao Parcel, Pathao Courier (B2B), Pathao Shop, Pathao Tong, and Pathao Pharma.

In January 2018, Pathao launched Pathao food, an online food delivery service and within three months it became the largest food delivery service in Bangladesh. The food delivery service is available in two cities of Bangladesh: Dhaka and Chittagong. 

At present Pathao Courier is operating nationwide. Through Pathao Parcel anyone can send small parcels within Dhaka city. 

On September 12, 2018 Pathao was launched in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, partnering with Shwapno, UniMart and Meena, Pathao re-launched “Pathao Tong” that promises to deliver groceries, food, medicine, health and hygiene products to the customer’s doorstep in less than 40 minutes.Pathao Tong was first launched in 2018 as an essential goods delivery service from Pathao. Pathao later folded the service without an announcement. There are 23 branches of Shwapno in Dhaka and two branches in Chittagong, which are currently associated with Pathao Tong.

Users can also order non-prescription and OTC medicine from “Pathao Pharma”.

In October, 2019, Pathao introduced a reward program called “Pathao Points” through which users can earn points every time they use Pathao rides or food delivery service and get exclusive offers and gifts.

In 2020, Pathao partnered with Go-Games and introduced “Pathao Games”- a gaming service that aims to make gaming easier to access for all the users. Through this platform users are awarded with food and ride promos in the form of special deals.

Pathao has raised a total of $12.8M in funding. Started with only 4 people, Pathao now is a company of more than 500 employees and considered one of the pioneers in Bangladesh's startup ecosystem.

Read:

How Pathao Was Created: In an interview with Future Startup, published in June 2018, Hussain M Elius explained how Pathao was founded, talked about his entrepreneurial journey and what it was like in the early days of Pathao.

The Story Behind Pathao's Explosive Growth With Hussain M Elius, Founder and CEO, Pathao: In this interview with Future Startup Pathao’s co-founder Hussain M Elius shares how Pathao has evolved and grown from a small team of 30 people to a team of over 500 people in a span of a few years, the hard work and intricacies of scaling a business, Pathao’s business today and its ambition going forward.

Lessons Learned By Pathao co-founder Fahim Saleh  || The 10-Minute Blog: In this blog Ahmed Fahad, one of the co-founders of Pathao shares 10 lessons he learned while building Pathao.

Ride-sharing app Pathao launches food delivery service  || Dhaka Tribune: Having food from a restaurant at home or the office has become one step easier for Dhakaites, as ride-sharing app Pathao has launched a new venture called “Pathao Food”. Now food lovers can use the new app to order their favorite food from any restaurant within their zone without the hassle of going outside and waiting in line.

Re-launching of "Pathao Tong": Pathao has partnered with Shwapno, the country’s largest retail brand super shop chain, to expand Pathao Tong, Pathao’s on-demand grocery and essential goods delivery service, in cities across Bangladesh where Shwapno has a presence. 

Pathao Raises $10M in funding in Pre-Series B led by Go-Jek  || TechCrunch: The round is undisclosed, but TechCrunch understands from a source that it is more than $10 million. The startup did confirm that its valuation is over $100 million.CEO Hussain Elius told TechCrunch in an interview that Pathao plans to use the capital to expand to new cities and continue to build out additional services. 


Watch:

The Story behind Starting 'Pathao' | Hussain M Elius || 10 Minute School 

Pathao | Business Secrets | Episode #2  || 10 Minute School

Update on 12 March at 10:00 am: This article has been updated with new information.

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Tithi Chowdhury is an undergraduate student majoring in Botany at the University of Dhaka. She is a Trainee Analyst at Future Startup and looks after our Collective Knowledge initiative where she prepares interviews and writes articles on interesting topics. She is a voracious reader and loves listening to podcasts in her spare time.

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