As reported by Ruhul Kader at Future Startup (found here):

Pathao has been experimenting with a service called Pathao Tong, a shopping service where Pathao users could buy anything from Sanitary Napkin to daily necessities and get it delivered to their doorsteps, for about two months now. Pathao Tong allows Pathao users to get their shopping done without leaving the Pathao app.

Broadly speaking, like any other e-commerce services in Dhaka, Tong is an e-commerce marketplace. The only difference is that it is from Pathao. It aggregates sellers of different products, in some cases other e-commerce sites, and gives its customers an option to shop using the same app they use for other purposes such as transportation, sending parcels and deliveries.

The leverage Pathao has is users. It has a large user base that uses Pathao app daily to move from one place to another. This is yet another example of the shifting nature of business in the internet age from a supply-dominant structure to a more demand-dominant structure.

With Pathao Tong, Pathao primarily aims to achieve four goals: 1) giving its existing user base one more reason to keep using Pathao app 2) building a strong moat 3) improving earning per customer 4) growth. These are similar to the logic for Pathao food.

Pathao Ecosystem and Pathao’s Opportunity

Mobile offers an incredible opportunity to today’s internet companies, and Pathao, being among the first local players to see it, wants to take it. Mobile allows centralization and aggregation. It is naturally tempting when you see such a big opportunity that you have all the means as well as the reason to pursue. The lure is even stronger when you look at the precedence of such things happening in markets like China or Indonesia or Singapore.

“Vision-wise, the ambition is we are going to allow people to build on a platform with millions of users, where you don’t have to worry about logistics and payments. You don’t have to worry about data. It’s all taken care of. You just come in and build and readily get and serve millions of users”, Pathao CEO Hussain M Elius in an interview with FS early this year.

Pathao Food

“Pathao has launched its food delivery service Pathao Food on 15th January. The platform, which, according to Pathao, currently has over 300 restaurants on it is now available in Gulshan and Banani area, a hyperlocal strategy that food delivery companies often use. The company plans to expand the service to other areas in the city soon.

The service, so far, continues to receive rave reviews from users which prove two things 1) Pathao has built an excellent execution muscle 2) the ride-hailing startup has managed to build a loyal users base, a key factor to any consumer product success.”

Over the past months, Pathao Food has seen phenomenal growth, thanks to excellent execution, promotional offers, and marketing. Pathao CEO Hussain M Elius in an interview in August: “We have more than 3,500 restaurants as we speak. As for orders, We have seen phenomenal growth. We have been delivering more than twice as much as all our competitors combined.”