Pakistani startup SheKab has been selected as one of 12 startups to join the Norway-based Katapult Accelerator, an impact-focused accelerator that offers startups hands on assistance and up to USD 100,000 in funding. The final 12 startups beat over 1000 candidates from all over the world while SheKab is the only startup selected from Pakistan.
SheKab, founded by Hira Rizvi, is a web-based platform working to address challenges of daily mobility in Pakistan. Since ease of mobility is a significant factor in empowering women, SheKab is aiming to create solutions that are safe, reliable and affordable for the average Pakistan woman.
According to a 2016 research conducted in Pakistan, more than 50% women who used public transportation reported cases of harassment. Moreover, on average, women spend more than 40% of their monthly salaries to travel to work, compared to men who spend 7% or less. SheKab aims to tackle these problems and empower women commuters in Pakistan and beyond.
SheKab has reached 900 female riders since launching last year and have generated $45,000 in revenues in 2017 so far.
SheKab’s monthly subscription model uses an online web-based platform that connects riders to partner drivers. The fleet comprises of thoroughly vetted male drivers from the pre-existing taxi infrastructure, as well as female drivers who own cars. The startup is also working on car-financing models designed for women drivers, that would allow them to own cars.
Since they began operations, SheKab has reached 900 female riders with their ever-expanding fleet of drivers which currently total to 90. While and Careem and Uber are being widely used nowadays, SheKab is confident that people will continue to use their services because they have a monthly subscription model which ensures riders will always have a driver to pick them up. Right now they have 1,020 subscribers and every month 90 people are being served on average. With their stint at Katapult and $100,000 in funding, SheKab hopes to increase its team and expand to more cities.
The 12 startups were welcomed at the Katapult Accelerator on July 31st, 2017 where they will follow a unique and tailored three-month program and curriculum. Katapult, that aims to fast-track solutions to global problems within both environmental and societal domains, will help scale their innovations by mentoring, training and providing them with valuable support. The accelerator also provides a network of additional investors that can boost the startups in their next phase of development, including a partnership with the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (ERA) in New York City. Each start-up will also receive USD 100,000 as start-up capital.
Some of the other startups selected for Katapult this year include Sensewaves from France, OTTAA from Argentina, Needslist and ImpactMapper from the USA, and CodersTrust from Bangladesh.