FE ONLINE REPORT |
Jan. 23, 2020, 10:19 p.m.
Jan. 23, 2020, 10:32 p.m.
Bangladeshi tech start-up Jatri announced that it has closed a fundraising round for an undisclosed amount backed by Superangel, Falcon Network, Tahseen Consulting and leading angel investors – many of whom were early investors and advisors to the major transportation apps like Bolt (previously Taxify), Uber, Bird, Angkas and Buseet.
Jatri’s pre-seed funding came from Adventure Capital, a global venture capital fund founded by Fahim Saleh, an early investor in Pathao and several other on-demand transport applications. The participation of large global investors in Jatri’s seed cycle indicates a growing appetite for seed investment in Bangladesh, one of the world’s fastest growing economies, according to a press release.
Mikko Silventola, Chairman of Frontier Growth Capital, said: “Jatri is already transforming the experience of public transport in Bangladesh. It’s the type of startup that global investors are struggling to get into. Several of the first signs I saw as a first-time investor in Bolt, I see them in Jatri – he has great technology, significant traction, and a world-class management team.
“When most people think of startups, they think of Silicon Valley. We support world-class founders in emerging and pioneering markets who strengthen and raise the next billion. Bangladesh lacks the mystique of Silicon Valley, but its entrepreneurs are creating world-class transformative businesses. At Jatri, we see a passionate and experienced management team where we believe our capital and expertise can transform public transport in Bangladesh and leverage technology on a global scale, ”said Wes Schwalje, Director of the operating the technology and investment consulting firm Tahseen Consulting.
Jatri was founded in early 2019 by Aziz Arman, Khondoker Taswar Zahin and Zia Ahmed, who saw an unmet need to improve the reliability of public transport to cope with notorious traffic congestion issues and insufficient traffic. Bangladesh public transport system. According to the United Nations, Dhaka’s traffic jams reduce GDP (gross domestic product) by six percent a year and push commuters to use private vehicles to get around due to lack of public transport coverage and city-centric services. passengers offered by transport operators – thus creating a virtuous circle which results in increased congestion due to significant use of private vehicles.
Jatri considers increasing the use of buses as an essential solution to improve the use of public transport. The founders set out to rethink the passenger experience for public transport users, starting with buses. Jatri’s mobile app enables digital tracking and ticketing, which significantly improves the passenger experience on buses. Its technology also enables bus operators to improve compliance with timetables and optimize journey times. The result is a more seamless, reliable and stress-free passenger experience and improved fleet management capabilities for bus operators to dramatically improve service levels and performance of the bus system.
“We are very grateful to be supported by such a distinguished team of business builders and investors. Our initial goal is to dramatically improve the passenger experience on buses, but we are just getting started. We plan to look at other transport modalities and see the improved experience of public transport as a global challenge that Jatri’s technology is uniquely positioned to solve. We are creating a solution born in the developing world, but also applicable to combat congestion and improve the use of public transport in developing and developed countries, ”said Aziz Arman, co-founder and CEO.
In just over eight months of operation, Jatri has over 30,000 unique users and its technology has been used by major bus operators to complete over 50,000 trips. The funding raised in its start-up cycle will allow Jatri to significantly expand its services in the populated metropolitan areas of Bangladesh and accelerate product development for additional transportation modalities.
Fahim Rahman, Managing Partner of Noksha Capital and Angel Investor, says: “The intra-urban public transport market in Bangladesh is in desperate need of technological reform. Simple improvements, like more reliable schedules, mean people get to work on time, while transparent pricing and digital payments build confidence in allowing commuters to leave their cars at home. Digital routing and improved on-time performance means more efficient fleet management for operators. Jatri’s accomplishments in such a short period of time are nothing short of extraordinary and a testament to the tenacity of the team.
Jatri is improving the journeys of thousands of public transport passengers while complementing the significant investments Bangladesh is making in transport infrastructure.
“We look forward to working with the Bangladesh Road Transportation Authority, the Bangladesh Bank and the Ministry of ICT to improve regulations supporting the growth of intermediate lead generation technologies like Jatri. A key reform that is urgently needed is to review the Payment Service Provider Act to support Bangladesh’s emerging digital economy while enabling transformative startups like Jatri to continue to innovate without barriers at scale ”, Rahman said.