Jatri, the first application based tracking and ticketing platform in Bangladesh for intra city public transportation, has closed a seed round investment for an undisclosed amount backed by Superangel, Falcon Network, Tahseen Consulting, and leading angel investors, many of whom were early investors and advisors to leading transport apps like Bolt (previously Taxify), Uber, Bird, Angkas, and Buseet.
The seed round is believed to be one of the largest seed rounds ever raised in Bangladesh and is being viewed as a watershed moment for the country’s rapidly growing digital economy.
Jatri was founded in early 2019 by Aziz Arman, Khondoker Taswar Zahin, and Zia Ahmed who saw an unmet need to enhance the reliability of public transport to address Bangladesh’s notorious traffic congestion challenges and insufficient public transport system.
Jatri views increased bus ridership as a critical solution to enhancing public transport ridership. The founders have set about redesigning the passenger experience for public transport users starting with buses.
Jatri’s mobile application enables digital tracking and ticketing which significantly enhances the rider experience on buses. Its technology also enables bus operators to enhance schedule adherence and optimize travel times. Jatri’s technology also has use cases for minibuses, electric scooters and bikes, and other emerging transport modalities.
In just over eight months of operation, Jatri has over 30,000 users, and its technology has been used by leading bus operators to complete more than 50,000 trips. The funding raised in its seed round will allow Jatri to significantly scale-up its services in Bangladesh’s populous metropolitan areas and fast track product development for additional transport modalities.
“We are very grateful to be supported by such a prominent team of business builders and investors. Our initial target is to significantly enhance the rider experience on buses, but we are just getting started”, said Aziz Arman, co-founder and chief executive officer.
Fahim Rahman, managing partner of Noksha Capital and angel investor says “The intra-city public transportation market in Bangladesh desperately needs technological reform.”
“We look forward to building a strong relationship with investors in the MENA region, and the UAE in particular, to help grow Jatri and investor confidence for private equity and venture capital investments in Bangladesh,” said Rahman.
Dr. Sayd Farook, co-founder of Falcon Network, says “In a very short time, Jatri has proven that it has the aptitude to revitalise the public transportation industry in Bangladesh.”
Jatri’s pre-seed financing came from Adventure Capital, a global venture capital fund founded by Fahim Saleh, cofounder of Pathao and several other on-demand transport apps. The participation of prominent global investors in Jatri’s seed round indicates a growing appetite for early-stage investments in Bangladesh.
UAE’s ‘Logistics Middle East’ published a news on the Jatri and shared that the start-up is currently in discussions with other MENA investors for Series A round, and its management team is traveling to the UAE later this month with intentions to meet with the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority, Abu Dhabi Department of Transport, and Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority to discuss deployments. Dubai’s integrated mobility platform, S’hail, offers an outstanding use case for Jatri’s technology, in particular.
“In Jatri we see a passionate, experienced management team where we believe our capital and expertise can support leveraging technology to transform public transport in Bangladesh and globally,” said Wes Schwalje, Chief Operating Officer of technology advisory and investment firm Tahseen Consulting.