Databird's decade long plan to help Bangladeshi startups | The Daily Star
04:45 PM, January 11, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:58 PM, January 11, 2021


Databird's decade long plan to help Bangladeshi startups

ShareTrip started its journey as Travel Booking BD in 2014 with just 3 employees in a small office but a big dream to make travel convenient for everyday people. Founder of ShareTrip and CEO of DataBird, Kashef Rahman, and his team has now grown to over more than 160 employees with a dedicated tech team and industry experts to provide flawless service while providing the best travel experience for their customers. This eventually enhanced the travel experience for their customers, because they were more focused on customized offerings.

Internet ecosystem builder DataBird's one of the earliest ventures in Bangladesh was ShareTrip ( Witnessing the industry expertise and visionary prowess of Kashef Rahman, the investors decided to back him up for the emergence of an ideal internet ecosystem of Digital Bangladesh. In 2018, DataBird partnered with ShareTrip with a strategic investment from Skycatcher, a venture capitalist based in, USA. The investment brought forward the rebranding to ShareTrip and the creation of their all-in-one, fully functional state of the art mobile app and website. 

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ShareTrip has revolutionized the travel industry in its wake, making travel accessible to everyday consumers by making air tickets and hotel packages available on one widely accessible and easy-to-use platform. The hassle of going to multiple places has been reduced through their efforts, and the whole process of availing travel solutions starting from air ticket booking, hotel room allocation, and visa assistance is now available at everyone's fingertips. Also, ShareTrip is the only OTA (Online Travel Agent) with a dedicated full-fledged local tech team of 25+ members in Bangladesh which adds an added advantage for the company for adapting and responding to the ever-changing dynamism of the travel industry.

Mobile applications have overtaken internet traffic by volume. People across different age groups and backgrounds are on their phones availing services from the comfort of their homes. Creating a responsive and fluid app experience is the cornerstone of getting more users to use and keep using your services now. This team of engineers is working tirelessly to innovate and bring intuitive features that benefit the end-user. It has allowed ShareTrip to remain one step ahead in the industry and provide the best-in-class services to its users. 

ShareTrip is also working with offline travel agents by offering them access to their vast inventory. This two-pronged approach has been instrumental in helping ShareTrip gain a leading online market share. Their B2B platform empowers entrepreneurial individuals by accessing them through ShareTrip's vast inventory of 2.7 million hotels and flights directly from their own devices. It accredits the local agents to cater to their clientele more functionally and it also eradicates the traditional way of offline business. 

During the pandemic, ShareTrip has played a key role in promoting domestic air travel that has been a saving grace for Domestic airlines. Sharp instincts and a deep understanding of market trends have allowed the company to flourish even in these troubling times.

In addition to ShareTrip, DataBird also invested in Ridmik Labs. "Ridmik Labs is the house of building numerous lifestyle applications which bring convenience and infotainment to our lives. Keyboard, being the leader and the star of Ridmik Labs, more product innovations are being brought through News, E-Reader Boitoi, Friendship App BondhuBuzz. More exciting products are in the pipeline which are to be introduced in the market soon" informs DataBird CEO, Kashef Rahman.

As an internet eco-system builder which is focused only on the development of Bangladesh's market, DataBird is keen on taking more interesting projects down the lane. They have already worked in travel and communication, setting remarkable examples and have major ongoing projects which are to be introduced to the Bangladeshi market very soon. The country is teeming with start-ups and entrepreneurs with ideas that can make a major life-changing impact on people's lives. DataBird, with the support from foreign investors like Skycatcher, bears the capacity to make these budding ideas into reality by connecting with the best people across the global internet market.

When asked, what will be the forthcoming infrastructure and business module laid by Kashef Rahman and Team, he replied, "We have a plan for our key members to become partners and we see how Alibaba built their culture and organizational infrastructure with Jack Ma having 25 co-founders. As of today, we have 5 co-founders and continue to expand our equity partners who want to build a business for the next many decades". Kashef Rahman also adds "The venture capital from DataBird will be focused for a long term, we are thinking about at least 10 years in the future, not 1 year, not 3 years or even 5 years. The projection is to work with the view to make investments into a culture, people, and product that many won't do. Our key investor, Skycatcher has already invested around $5 Million US Dollars to date and will continue to expand this funding".

The accomplishments of ShareTrip and Ridmik Labs under the guidance of DataBird have earned a stronghold through determination and opportunity that DataBird projected by the intense growth of internet penetration and a large percentage of the population who are a blend of millennial and Gen X'ers. "Making Bangladesh Digital is not just a dream anymore, as we are already seeing practical implementation across many industries in the country", says Kashef Rahman. With the right approach, insights and shared knowledge by global experts who are already playing the role in building world standard products and services". DataBird believes that they have united a group of minds who are working towards achieving the dream of Digital Bangladesh.

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