One of the main problems the nation has is transportation, particularly in the capital where the traffic is unforgiving. Finding suitable transportation is more difficult for women because public transportation is not always regarded as safe.
Shuttle, which began its voyage in 2018, was formerly known as 'Shuttle for women'.
The startup's initial mission was to address the daily commuting issues faced by women in Dhaka by assuring their safety while traveling to and from work and university. Even though it catered to a small market, Shuttle was able to draw a sizable number of clients in its early years. Additionally, the startup was successful in securing $2.5 million in total finance from backers, including Robi Axiata Limited, Bangladesh Angles, Accelerating Asia, and others.
In a chat with Reyasat Chowdhury, founder, and CEO, and Jawwad Jahangir, co-founder of Shuttle, we came to know how Shuttle started and its expansion in the B2B market.
"We used to study at North South University, and both of us wanted to be entrepreneurs. We used to have several discussions, and since then the idea came about working on public transportation," said Reyasat.
"We started with a women-only Shuttle but then expanded to Shuttle for Business, and now it's Shuttle for School". When asked about why they went for Shuttle for School, Reyasat said, "School transportation is a huge problem in Bangladesh. Parents are worried about their children and hence, we wanted to provide shuttle service for school and solve a major problem for our customers."
Jawwad explained, "Since all of our rides are shared, the traffic of Dhaka city can be controlled through ride-sharing in school as well. When the lockdown got lifted, schools opened and the traffic became unbearable. Shared rides will reduce the traffic, help the parents in sending their children to school and also the local community will be benefitted."
"Shuttle for Business was launched during Covid-19 and overall, we feel this is the right time to get into new projects. The city also needs a new solution to tackle the packed roads," added the cofounder Jawwad.
"Our most significant success would be gaining the trust of our customers. Our customers rely on Shuttle. We could build a reliable brand, and we have over 30,000 registered customers on the platform. We have raised funds from all over the world, explained Reyasat. "We have been serving more than 50 businesses as well," Jawwad further added.
Within a relatively short amount of time, the city's new shuttle system-which was created especially for women-became the go-to mode of transportation for thousands of women and job holders from Shuttle for Business. We are yet to see how Shuttle for School enfolds in this traffic-jammed Dhaka city.
The writer is a The writer is a startup enthusiast.