Bykea: Pakistan’s first successful startup
Published on: June 23, 2021
“Three years ago, when I used to tell people that I work for Bykea, they would be like, what’s that?” says Rafiq Malik, Chief Operating Officer of Bykea. “Now I don’t have to tell anyone what Bykea is.”
Bykea is an all-in-one application for transportation, logistics and cash on delivery services, based around a network of motorcycle-borne service providers – who negotiate the congested landscape of Pakistan’s metropolitan cities with ease.
It is arguably Pakistan’s first successful homegrown startup; having commenced operations in November 2016 and now having almost 40,000 people earning through the app every month.
Bykea’s business model leverages the two most common assets in urban societies – a motorcycle and a smartphone – and turns them into sustainable sources of income. Increasing smartphone ownership, and the favourable economics of motorcycle transportation ensures that becoming a Bykea partner is one of the easiest routes to employment for working class individuals in a highly competitive job-market.
Especially for people who have lost their jobs, Abdul Mannan, Chief Information Officer at Bykea, believes that their business represents a perfectly good alternative.
“If you have lost your means of earning a living, you now have a backup,” he says, talking to VCast about the socioeconomic impact of Bykea. “Technically, there is now a huge opportunity available and more importantly, this opportunity has been created within the country. It hasn’t been imported from outside.”
The app, which has been developed completely locally, is centred around the user experience being made as easy as it can be. Malik Ahmad Waheed, Head of Product at Bykea, explains: “The product we’ve made is such that if you don’t want to type, you don’t have to type. All you have to do is tap and you can go wherever you want to. If you want to do any transaction, you can do it without typing.”
Watch our full conversation with the team at Bykea to gain more insight into the unique value proposition of the business, the problems they try to solve, and what keeps them all going.