The country’s largest and leading online travel agency (OTA) ShareTrip has turned three this year. To celebrate its 3rd anniversary, the company organized a celebration event titled ShareTrip Night 2022 in the presence of its partners and stakeholders. Held at Hotel Sheraton Dhaka on August 07, the event was attended by a large number of industry insiders, stakeholders, foreign delegates, and various partners of ShareTrip. Zunaid Ahmed Palak MP, Statement Minister, ICT Division, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh attended the event as the Chief Guest. Sami Ahmed, Managing Director of Startup Bangladesh Limited also attended as a special guest.
ShareTrip has made several announcements during the event, presented its achievements from the last three years and shared its ambition going forward, handed awards to a long list of market players from the travel and tourism industry, and announced its recent funding round raised from Bangladesh Government-backed VC fund Startup Bangladesh Limited. Let's take a look at the major highlights of the event.
Recognizing industry partners: Recognizing various industry partners was one of the major highlights of the event. In a press note, the company said, this was the very first time in the travel industry that an agent recognized its suppliers and industry partners. The appreciation and award program recognized the efforts of the partners under categories like exemplary performing airlines from different regions, people’s choice airlines from different regions, hotels in Bangladesh, and various partners including leading campaign, transaction, payment gateway, commercial, and agent among others. The company also announced a people’s choice award for airlines and the hospitality industry based on a three-day survey with more than 10,000 responses.
“We dedicate the night to the beautiful relationships we have nurtured together with our partners over our journey of three years. Without your kind support and cooperation, our path would have been more challenging. Future projections show that the online market could grow more than 50%t in the next 3 years, and for ShareTrip the journey will be less of a challenge because of the Investment from Startup Bangladesh Ltd. This investment is not only a financial one but rather a strategic one, to strengthen the credibility and progression of the OTAs in the coming days. On behalf of the ShareTrip family, we are thankful to SBL for choosing to invest in us”, said Sadia Haque, Co-founder, and CEO, ShareTrip.
ShareTrip raises investment from Startup Bangladesh Limited: ShareTrip and Startup Bangladesh Limited have also announced their investment deal during the event. The announcement said Startup Bangladesh Limited has made an investment into ShareTrip at a valuation of $50 million, the first such investment of the Government-backed VC fund in a local travel-tech company.
“This is the first time Startup Bangladesh Limited is investing in the travel industry and we are very happy that ShareTrip is our first venture. Startup Bangladesh aims to support homegrown startups to grow and reach heights that generate higher standards for more Foreign Investment. The local startup ecosystem is greatly influenced by prospective ventures like ShareTrip, where passion and professionalism, coming together, can provide a single organization with the strength to give its whole industry a significant push forward. ShareTrip has been an outstanding example of how to turn a hopeful idea into a successful business. I wish them all the success and congratulate them on the investment from Startup Bangladesh. all the best to the organization and its partners”, said Sami Ahmed, Managing Director, Startup Bangladesh Limited.
ShareTrip started its journey three years back as one of the earliest players in the online travel agency vertical in Bangladesh. Within a short period of time, the company has experienced phenomenal growth. The company says it has served half a million customers from across the country. It has 5000 offline agents using its B2B platform. It works with several thousand offline agents through A2i Digital Centers across the country.
ShareTrip says it sees immense opportunities in the online travel services market in Bangladesh and aims to make travel services accessible to even the remotest areas of the country. Over the last three years, ShareTrip has launched a long list of exciting features making travel services accessible and a delight to a great number of people. The company has made booking travel services such as tickets, hotels, and other relevant travel services seamless and built a platform that offers customers competitive prices on travel services. The company says it is just getting started and now aims to build on its successes of the last three years, expand its services and continue to innovate and grow.