A couple of entrepreneurs from Pakistan have launched a startup that aims to provide students a way of finding places to crash in for a couple of days from a handful of cities across Pakistan.
Called “PlaceMe.pk”, the startup has been co-founded by Abdul Muqsit, winner of mBillionth 2014 Award for his Online Pashto Dictionary, and Babar Akhunzada, an ethical hacker who has recently been featured by Samaa TV for his skill in ethical hacking. The duo has now worked together to launch PlaceMe, a kind of AirBnb for Pakistani students.
“We are introducing an online startup that would enable Pakistanis, throughout the country, to book a quality and affordable room prior to their travel with the ease of a simple click, email or telephone,” said Babar while talking to TechJuice.
Although they are specifically targeting students right now, the service is open to everyone. Launching today, any Pakistani can go to PlaceMe.pk or download their free Android app (iOS version coming in the future) to find a place stay in, whether in a private or commercial property. You can also find other people on their portal to share a room with if you want to lower your rental costs.
The service is completely free for both parties; the seeker as well as the renter. Places can be filtered out according to gender, price, date and types and there is also an option to cluster search to search for nearby places/hostels. People can also review places and comment on them through Facebook integration. Although the site lists a total of 15 cities right now, the collection of hostels and other places to stay in is pretty limited with listings available in only half of those. On the plus side, they will be adding more places as time goes by and the service also has a blog with general tips for hostel-seekers along with a full City Guide.
There are some crucial issues that PlaceMe will have to tackle, especially considering the critical security condition in Pakistan. Currently, they don’t have a proper background-check system but they are going to add mobile number verification sometime in the future while their online site will also be upgraded to “HTTPS” to better protect user data. Additionally, their website uses images depicting the Western world, instead of the one it is targeting. When asked, Babar said that they are going to schedule a shoot sometime soon and update the site accordingly.
As we venture into the digital age, new standards of living must be introduced in order to adapt our lives along with the modern technologies. The trend is already prevalent in Western countries where startups like Uber and AirBnb are challenging the age-old norms of our society, and the entrepreneur duo of Abdul Muqsit and Babar aims to tackle the same problem in Pakistan with PlaceMe.pk.