Bangladeshi ride-sharing startup Pathao seeks fresh funding for fintech play

 Bangladeshi ride-sharing startup Pathao seeks fresh funding for fintech play

Even as it looks to transform itself into a fintech company, Bangladeshi ride-sharing platform Pathao is looking to raise a new round of funding next year, possibly from an Indian venture capital fund, a co-founder said.

Hussain Elius told The Capital Quest that the startup will look to bring new investors on board for a Series B funding round sometime in 2022. He declined to proffer any further details.

Apart from India, Pataho could also be looking to snag funding from investors in Southeast Asia, he said.

“We will be raising a Series B sometime next year,” Elius said. “Our current investors have been investing for a very long time. They are going to follow on, but we are also looking to get some new blood in,” he added.

The six-year-old startup has so far raised $50 million from a bunch of investors including RC Ventures, Gojek, Openspace Ventures, Osiris Group, Battery Road Digital Holdings, Alter Global, Clearstone and Startup Bangladesh.

“Gojek is our biggest investor, followed by Openspace Ventures, Battery Road Digital Holdings and Osiris Group,” said Elius, who founded the company in 2015 along with Shifat Adnan.

Pathao is looking to raise more money even as it looks to transition from a ride-hailing and logistics company to a financial services player, having launched a buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) product just last week.

“In Bangladesh, access to financial services is one of the lowest in the world. It is really about providing people with initial access,” Elius said.

“We want to reach more people and the products we have are for the urban consumer. That can only get us so far. Fintech is the only way through which we can reach the mass market, people at all levels of the economy,” he added.

Apart from cities like Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet in Bangladesh, Pathao also operates in Kathmandu in Nepal, where it is the largest ride-hailing app, ahead of its nearest rival Tootle, a Nepalese startup.

Aman Malik

The Capital Quest