Pathao

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Pathao Ltd.
Native name
পাঠাও
Transportation network company
Industry
FoundedOctober 2015; 3 years ago (2015-10)[2]
FoundersHussain M Elius
Shifat Adnan
Fahim Saleh[3][4]
HeadquartersGulshan 2, ,
Area served
Bangladesh, Nepal[5]
Key people
Hussain M Elius
(CEO)
ProductsMobile app, website
Services
Number of employees
500+[6]
DivisionsPathao Food
Pathao Parcel
Pathao Courier (B2B)
Pathao Nepal Private Limited[5]
Websitepathao.com

Pathao (Bengali: পাঠাও); is a Bangladeshi transportation network company headquartered in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It operates services in 3 main cities of Bangladesh: Dhaka, Chittagong, and Sylhet along with several suburbs of Dhaka and Chittagong. Besides ride-sharing services, it has ventures in E-commerce, merchant, courier and food delivery services.[7] Pathao is a Bengali word meaning "send it".[8]

History[edit]

Pathao started its journey as a delivery service back in 2015 with own fleet of motorcycles and cycles. They acted as a delivery service for several E-Commerce Services of Bangladesh, including Daraz of Alibaba Group (then Rocket Internet).[9] Later on 2016, Pathao started bike sharing services on mid-2016 and had successfully signed up more than 100,000 drivers and around 1 million users by March 2018 across the country.[10] In an interview with TechCrunch, Pathao CEO Hussain M Elius confirmed that Pathao currently has a fleet of 50,000 bikes and the company is valued over $100 million as of April 2018.[6]

Financing[edit]

Pathao received around $1 million in their initial Seed Funding from Battery Road Digital Holdings LLC. on 2015 and 2016. In 2017, Pathao received $2 million from Go-Jek in a Series A round. It received $10 million in a Series B round from Go-Jek in 2018. Pathao currently has 5 investors in total along with 3 lead investors.[6][11]

Operations[edit]

Pathao follows a "One App for All" model unlike Uber, providing all of their services through one app. They update their app on a frequent basis to make the overall app navigation simpler and easy for all.

Services[edit]

Pathao currently provides ride sharing, parcel, food delivery and On demand Transport Sharing services in 3 major cities of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet. Food delivery services is currently available in Dhaka Metropolitan Region and Chittagong Metro only. Pathao also launched its own e-Wallet service, but eventually the service was terminated due to regulatory issues with Bangladesh Bank.[6][12]

Ride sharing[edit]

Pathao provides on-demand ride sharing services through motorcycles and cars. Both the driver and the passenger requires to have a Android or iOS internet and GPS-enabled smartphone in order to avail the service. Pathao uses a similar algorithm like Uber and Lyft to match the passenger with a driver nearby heading towards the destination. It has more than 50,000 registered vehicles across the country. Ride sharing service is available in the following cities and suburbs:

Parcel[edit]

One can send small to medium-sized parcel inside Dhaka city with a minimal cost using Pathao app. The parcel delivery is usually done through bicycles for nearby locations and motorcycle for longer distances. This service also requires the delivery person and sender to have a GPS enabled smartphone, and similar technologies like ride sharing to match with a delivery person nearby.[14]

Merchant delivery[edit]

Merchant Delivery solution was the basis of foundation of Pathao back in 2015. Pathao delivers in Dhaka, Gazipur, Savar, Narsingdi, Narayanganj, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Sylhet and Brahmanbaria cities using their own fleet of bicycle, motorcycle and pickup vans with a minimum cost of 60 Taka and maximum cost of 180 Taka. They also provide nationwide delivery using courier agents like Sundarban Courier and SA Paribahan. Pathao accepts cash-on-delivery and return of products on behalf of their merchants as well.

Food delivery[edit]

Pathao delivers food to any corner of Dhaka and Chittagong city within 45 minutes of order using bicycle deliveries for avoiding the traffic. It directly competes with local delivery companies like Hungrynaki, FoodMart and German food delivery giant Foodpanda. The competition is predicted to be more increased since another ride-sharing service in Bangladesh, Uber has announced to start Uber Eats operation in Bangladesh.[15]

Pathao Pay[edit]

On May 24, 2018, Pathao launched their own Mobile Wallet service termed as Pathao Pay, through which customers could pay the riders through the app without using cash. But within 6 weeks of launching, Pathao suspended the recharge option for the payment platform citing 'Software Development'. But a report published by local agency BDNews24 showed that Bangladesh Bank denied Pathao to launch a Closed Payment Service for ethical reasons & lack of regulation and yet Pathao proceeded with the system.[16] Bangladesh Bank also threatened Pathao with legal actions if the company did not shut down their payment services. In a statement, Pathao CEO Hussain M. Elius said that, "We had faced problem as we started the service as a closed wallet. We will turn the service into an open wallet in the future by fulfilling all the conditions so that no guideline is violated."[12] As per Bangladesh law, Open wallet, i.e. e-Wallet that is not confined between specific users is only allowed to run operations in the country.

Later, on September 12, 2018, Pathao signed an agreement with local Payment Solution Provider iPay, under which agreement Pathao Pay features would be integrated into iPay and users can pay for Pathao using iPay account.[17]

Privacy scandal[edit]

A video published in both Facebook[18] and YouTube[19] on November 5, 2018 showed the Pathao android app deliberately copies sensitive information including SMS and contact lists.[20] The claim was independently verified by many other security experts including popular website, Priyo[21] and Ekushey Television.[22] Pathao vice-president, Ahmed Fahad, admitted the claim. However, he insisted that Pathao collected these information for the safe-keeping of women.[21] Later, the official Facebook page of Pathao released a statement claiming the information collected from users are kept safe and hidden from their own employees, and they use the best practices similar to every other companies.[23] However, the statement contradicts the vice-president of the company as Mr. Fahad stated his company can read the sensitive information in case of hypothetical emergencies.[21] There has been a public outcry asking Pathao to come clean and many in the social media called for a boycott. Pathao released a new update on November 8, 2018, presumably without the code segments that copied sensitive user information to their server. However, the previous version of the app is still copying sensitive information to server.[22]

Legal issues[edit]

Upon Uber launching in Dhaka on November 22, 2016, Bangladesh Road & Transport Authority (BRTA) declared Ride Sharing Services illegal in Bangladesh due to conflicts with Bangladesh Motor Vehicles Act.[24] Uber along with several local Ride-sharing services like Pathao, Amar Ride and Bahon petitioned against the rule and later lobbied the government to formulate draft bill to make Ride-sharing services legal. Though the government ban was still in effect, the services remained open to the public and the general public welcomed the initiative as well. On December 3, 2017, the BRTA formulated a guideline for Ride-sharing services and most of the Ride-sharing services including Uber was given Operation License by February 2018.[25]

The CNG Autorickshaw Drivers of Dhaka and Chittagong went on a strike from December 27 to December 28, 2017, with 8-point demands that included the imposition of ban on ride-sharing services, especially Uber and Pathao. They faced a huge backlash from the general public as the CNG Autorickshaw Drivers are notoriously known for taking extra fare than a meter, breaking traffic rules and misconduct with passengers.[26] Later, the CNG Autorickshaw Drivers declared that they'll be joining the Ride-sharing services from February 2018 in Dhaka and Chittagong. Though Pathao didn't confirm about integration of CNG Autorickshaw in their services, one of the official of Uber said that they've planned to integrate CNG Autorickshaw in future as they've done in India and Pakistan.[27]

Pathao Nepal[edit]

On September 12, 2018, Pathao announced that they're going to launch their bike-sharing operation in Kathmandu in a few weeks. Several recruitment advertisements for hiring Operations Manager, Marketing Manager and Executives were also seen in Nepalese Job-Seeking Websites from August 2018. Pathao will be directly competing with local ride sharing platforms like Tootle, Eddy Cabs in Nepal.[28] In May 2018 Pathao appointed Mr. Asheem Man Singh Basnyat as the Director for Nepal Operations.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Pathao', not just a ride service, it's a courier service as well". dailyasianage.com. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  2. ^ "স্মার্ট পেশা হিসেবে 'পাঠাও' বেছে নিয়েছেন শতাধিক তরুণ". jugantor.com (in Bengali). Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  3. ^ "Passing Jam will easily reach the destination of Pathao's bikes". ittefaq.com.bd (in Bengali). Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  4. ^ "Meet the minds behind the success of Pathao". dhakatribune.com. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  5. ^ a b https://www.dhakatribune.com/business/2018/09/12/pathao-launches-in-nepal
  6. ^ a b c d "Bangladesh's version of Go-Jek raises over $10M in a round led by Go-Jek".
  7. ^ "বাড়তি ভাড়ায় শুরু হলো 'পাঠাও কারস্‌'". banglanews24.com (in Bengali). Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  8. ^ "Uber and Pathao". thedailystar.net. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  9. ^ "Pathao will now also send cars". prothom-alo.com (in Bengali). Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  10. ^ "Revolutionary rise of digital startups". The Bangladesh Post.
  11. ^ "Pathao - Crunchbase". Crunchbase.
  12. ^ a b https://futurestartup.com/2018/09/12/pathao-pay-and-regulator/
  13. ^ "Bangladesh's Ride-hailing App, Pathao Starts Operations in Kathmandu". TechLekh: Latest Tech News, Reviews, Startups and Apps in Nepal. 2018-09-27. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  14. ^ https://pathao.com/parcels
  15. ^ https://g.co/kgs/ixByt4
  16. ^ https://bdnews24.com/business/2018/09/07/bangladesh-bank-denies-ride-sharing-app-pathao-permission-to-add-wallet-service
  17. ^ https://www.priyo.com/articles/201809121224-pathao-payment-via-ipay
  18. ^ "Pathao security breach demonstration in Facebook".
  19. ^ "Pathao security breach demonstration in YouTube".
  20. ^ "Dissecting Pathao - An Uber-like app that steals SMS, contacts, app list and more". Ashik Ishtiaque Emon. 2018-11-05. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  21. ^ a b c "ব্যবহারকারীদের সংবেদনশীল মেসেজ, নম্বর সংরক্ষণ করছে পাঠাও!". প্রিয়.কম. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  22. ^ a b যেভাবে গ্রাহকের মেসেজ, ডাটা ও তথ্য চুরি করছে পাঠাও, ETV News (in Bengali), 2018-11-10, retrieved 2018-11-11
  23. ^ "Pathao". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  24. ^ "Uber taxi services in Dhaka illegal: BRTA".
  25. ^ "Ride-apps get nod, need BRTA permit". The Daily Star. 15 January 2018.
  26. ^ "CNG autorickshaw strike in December, not November". Dhaka Tribune. 27 November 2017.
  27. ^ "CNG-run auto-rickshaws join ride apps". Prothom Alo.
  28. ^ https://futurestartup.com/2018/09/10/pathao-to-launch-in-nepal/

External links[edit]