Indonesian delivery company Go-Jek has invested around $2 million in Pathao, a Dhaka-based ride-sharing platform.
Go-Jek made the investment as a part of its “Series A funding”, the first significant round of capital venture financing.
Although the ride-sharing platform was yet to make an official announcement regarding the matter, a post made by a user on the LinkedIn profile of Pathao Co-founder and CEO Hussain M Elius mentioned the investment while sources within Pathao also confirmed the matter to the Dhaka Tribune.
Sayeda Nabila Mahabub, marketing manager of Pathao said: "Due to the confidentiality and sensitivity of the information, we do not have the privilege to share anything at point in time."
Go-Jek, which has more than 200,000 riders, has taken up a minority stake in Pathao following an agreement signed a few weeks ago. It is the company’s first investment in the region.
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Go-Jek and Pathao are similar companies and both provide their services through mobile applications.
Pathao is one of the fastest-growing e-commerce service providers in Bangladesh. It began as a delivery service in 2015 using its fleet of motorbikes, and the service soon caught on due to the growing demand for reliable e-commerce delivery services in Dhaka.
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In October 2016, Pathao decided to introduce motorcycle ride-sharing services after learning about Uber’s plans to introduce the service in Dhaka. The platform has already made its services available in Chittagong.
With the investment in Pathao, Go-Jek could spread their business in the international arena.
Hussain M Elius, a North South University alumnus, Shifat Adnan, a graduate from Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology, and Fahim Saleh from Bentley University in the US co-founded the company in 2015.
Over 10 start-ups, including Chalo, Sam, Uber, Pathao, Amarbike, Amar Ride, are operating in Dhaka.
More investment could help these companies find firmer footing in the increasingly competitive ride-sharing market.
The Chinese Didi Chuxing raised $5.5 billion to fuel its global expansion and Go-Jek raised $1.2 billion to fight competitors like Uber and Grab.