Bangladesh: Online travel platform Avijatrik Tourism has closed a seed round led by Paragon Group and a group of undisclosed angel investors, believed to be worth more than ten million Taka.
The firm has been building out its own home-sharing platform, Avijatrik Holiday Home, which it hopes will rival Airbnb in Bangladesh.
Avijatrik founder and CEO, Nazmul Islam, said: “Avijatrik Holiday Home is the country’s first unique home-sharing platform where you can find forest bungalows, private resorts, beach houses, riverside villas, and private vacation rental houses.”
Islam says the injection of funding will help the company to invest more in establishing its local tourism marketplace, expanding its services, building out its technology, and spending more on growth.
He said: “With this investment, we plan to empower root-level local tourism entrepreneurs with technology and help promote their services. We are building a local tourism marketplace which would allow us to expand our local community tourism and penetrate across the country”.
In addition, Avijatrik says it will create 15 local community-based tourism bases in various destinations around Bangladesh.
An increasing number of Bangladeshi travel tech companies have come under the focus of domestic and foreign investors, with rising incomes and a growing appetite for foreign travel attributed to this growing trend.
According to a report on the Future Startup website, overseas travel expenditure went up from $404.7 million in the financial year in 2015 to $436.4 million [FY16], a 7.83 per cent rise from the previous year. In addition, local travel is seeing a similar rise in popularity as new middle and upper classes emerge in Bangladesh and seek out more flexible and convenient options for travel.
When it was founded in 2015, Avijatrik wanted to promote local travel experiences in Bangladesh by providing traditional and community tourism services.
Much like Airbnb is now offering immersive local activities under its Experiences category, the startup collaborates with communities and allows travellers to stay with locals, as well as experience a different culture and lifestyle.
For more information, visit the Avijatrik website here.