Business & Commerce Technology

Bykea gets $5.7m worth of investment

KARACHI: Bykea, the ride-hailing app developed completely in Pakistan, has completed its first round of investment and bagged $5.7 million.

Venture capital fund Sarmayacar and institutional investors from Vietnam, Singapore and the Middle East invested in the local transport platform, said Bykea Founder and CEO Muneeb Maayr at a press conference at the National Incubation Centre (NIC) Karachi on Tuesday.

He informed the media that Pakistan had 17 million bikes on roads, including 3 million in Karachi alone. “The country has four to five million cars and less than one million people use ride-hailing services,” he revealed.

“If a person uses ride-hailing service daily from Rawalpindi to Islamabad, his bill will be Rs700 per day on average, which adds up to Rs21,000 per month.”

That fare could only be afforded by a person who had an income of over Rs100,000 per month, which was not the case of a majority living in the country, he said.

Hence, looking at the purchasing power of the population, the company created the application, which was based on local culture, behaviour and feedback from the customers, he added. He maintained that to facilitate the masses, the application was developed in Urdu language.

“To further penetrate the public on street, the company is taking a step forward by offering the service to people who do not own a smartphone,” he said. “Such people will be able to call a bike just through a missed call.”

He noted that big cities of Pakistan, in particular, were facing growing problem of transportation, especially economically viable transportation.

He elaborated that though Rawalpindi and Islamabad had the metro system, it was on main roads and people used the bike service to reach bus stations from their homes. Bykea has 200,000 registered partners — the name the company uses for its drivers. On average, a partner earns Rs150 per hour, out of which 10% is deducted as commission.

“The ride-hailing service intends to go through two more rounds of investment-seeking,” he said. “Our target is a few million bookings per day, which will make us profitable.”

Besides, Bykea’s other market is local logistics. “Inside Karachi, we are the biggest delivery system,” said the CEO. “People order their desired food, clothes and other items and some even order mechanics.” On the other hand, small businessmen used Bykea to get their orders delivered, he added.

The company intends to utilise the investment in marketing to introduce the platform to new people, tech upgrading and in building new solutions in business-to-business like logistics and payments, said the CEO.

Source: Express Tribune