Gojek-backed Pathao said to merge with Bangladeshi payments firm SureCash

Bangladeshi ride-hailing startup Pathao is in talks to merge with SureCash, a local digital payments provider, according to multiple local reports.

According to The Daily Prothom Alo and Future Startup, the two companies have entered advanced discussions to consolidate. The merger is expected to place them in a better position to attract funding and provide a wider range of services to its customers. The reports add that the two companies will continue to operate independently after the merger.

Pathao declined to provide DealStreetAsia a comment for this story.

Both Pathao and SureCash are understood to share Osiris Group as a common shareholder. According to Crunchbase, Osiris Group last invested in SureCash’s $7 million Series B round in 2015. The frontier markets private equity firm also joined one of Pathao’s early fundraising rounds as an investor.

Pathao ran into cash troubles earlier this year after it came up short of securing its targeted $50 million Series B round. The company retrenched nearly 300 mid to top-level employees, restructured its operations and announced plans to postpone its Series B final close.

The Dhaka-based startup had raised $10 million for its pre-Series B round in April 2018, securing capital from Gojek, Openspace Ventures and Battery Road Digital Holdings.

Fundraising remains a major challenge for frontier markets like Bangladesh.

In an earlier interview with DealStreetAsia, Pathao’s chief operations officer Pardeep Grewal shared that the hurdles are even greater for pioneers in an unproven market. Most investors tend to have an “India-only” mandate when it comes to investing in South Asia, leaving neighbouring markets like Bangladesh highly misunderstood as a destination for capital.

Pathao or “send it” in Bangla was founded in 2015 by Hussain Elius, Fahim Saleh and Shifat Adnan. The company started as a courier service for e-commerce merchants in Bangladesh, before branching out into other verticals like food delivery and ride-hailing. It counts players like Uber and Shohoz, a Golden Gate Ventures-backed local startup, among its competitors.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.