Singapore-based travel startup GoZayaan, operating in Bangladesh, has acquired Pakistan’s FindMyAdventure as it expands its online tourism business, a deal that Bloomberg reported was worth $3.5 million.
FindMyAdventure, founded by LUMS alumnus Muhammad Komail Abbas along with three others, is a travel-tech platform specialising in adventure tours for the local market in Pakistan. Since 2016, when it started as an online platform enabling users to book travel experiences, it has expanded into rentals, luxury tourism, and digital experiences, and has over 300 hotel partners in the country.
On the other hand, South Asian travel-tech platform, GoZayaan, is reportedly the largest online platform in Bangladesh with over 700,000 monthly active users since starting in 2017. It also recently closed an undisclosed round backed by existing investors, Nordstar Partners, Saurabh Gupta, Partner at DST Global, and Alexander Rittweger, Founder of PAYBACK, it said in a statement. Last year, it had closed a $2.6-million seed round.
“One of the core reasons for this acquisition is the similarity between Bangladesh and Pakistan in terms of geography, user behavior, internet penetration and travel landscape,” GoZayaan said.
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“These two South Asian countries consist of 5% of the world’s population and are equal to almost 60% of South East Asia’s population, which means it would be a huge opportunity in terms of growth and market penetration.
This arrangement also supports the collective ability of FindMyAdventure and GoZayaan to improve the region’s travel and tourism infrastructure with rapid technology adoption and improved access to travel.”
Abbas, now the country managing director of GoZayaan Pakistan, said the aim is continue solving regional travel-related problems, and offer online travel and ticketing as well as adventure tourism.
GoZayaan has initially invested $3.5 million as part of the deal, according to two people familiar with the matter, reported Bloomberg.
The company is slated to compete with Bookme, Pakistan’s largest online travel and ticketing platform, that raised $7.5 million in December, and Sastaticket. The two are said to be bigger players in the online travel agencies’ segment, say industry sources.
Successful seed rounds, funding and inflow of investments have seen an upsurge in Pakistan recently, with the year 2021 emerging as the best for the startup space in the country. Pakistan witnessed successful completion of 81 deals worth $350 million. The amount raised was more than five times of what was raised in 2020 i.e. $65 million, according to data compiled by invest2innovate.
Earlier this month, Karachi-based Truck It In raised $13 million in early-stage funding, becoming the largest seed round for a logistics startup in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as well as in Pakistan.