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Tootle bags Wai Wai Seedstars Kathmandu 2017

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This pitch by Sixit Bhatta made Tootle the winner of Wai Wai Seedstars Kathmandu 2017, Nepal edition of the Seedstars Global competition, organized by Microsoft Innovation Centre Nepal in partnership with UNDP.

Out of a total of 61 applicants, eight best seed-stage tech startups were chosen to pitch their innovative business idea in the national finale of the competition organized on Monday, October 23.

The startups pitched in front of a jury panel consisting of Asgar Ali from eSewa, Rabindra Shrestha from Prestellar Ventures, Siddhant Raj Pandey from Business Oxygen, Himesh Dhungel from Millennium Challenge Competition, and Rosie Keller from Seedstars.

Tootle’s founder Sixit Bhatta shared in a pitch, pointing out two visually impaired entrepreneurs from Seeing Hands Nepal and this was his pitch:

These two gentlemen are amazing entrepreneurs, but visually impaired. And, just imagine how difficult it might have been for them to take rides. Getting a taxi is impossible as they have to go to the street to do that. And, finding other public transport used to be a life-threatening situation till the time they came across Tootle.
If you look at the scenario of Kathmandu, it’s not only visually impaired who are vulnerable to public transport. The vulnerability extends to women, to people who are disabled, and almost everyone. We do not need to be a rocket scientist to understand the problems of transport in Kathmandu.
So, what can be the solution?
Kathmandu has almost 500,000 motorbikes. One out of every five people in Kathmandu owns a motorbike. And, eight out of 10 motorbikes riding around the town would be a single passenger. What we wanted to do was we wanted to engineer a process with technology so that these 400,000 bikers in the city can make money leasing their spare capacity.
That is how Tootle was born.
In coordination with eSewa, we have developed a payment system that allows real-time payment.
These bikers will get 80% of the fee that comes from the transport.
Tootle is basically a ride-sharing platform where you can hail a motorbike through a touchable button through an app.
More than 4000 bikers have already registered at Tootle.

Speaking exclusively to Glocal Khabar after getting the award, Bhatta shared,

This win has come after really a lot of hard work. We are taking the product on the market. Hundreds and thousands of people are taking our services on a daily basis. Tootle has now become a habit for many people in Kathmandu. It’s an easy mode of transport just one click away. At Tootle, we spend a lot of time developing our business and products.

Bhatta also shared Tootle’s future plans.

We are planning to go beyond Kathmandu within a couple months. Then, we will venture outside Nepal. Doors have now opened for us to go internationally, and let the world know about our idea.

HoneyGuide Apps and NepXpress were able to be among the top 3 startups in the competition.

The other startups pitching their ideas on the occasion were GharBheti, Krishi Ghar, Product with Story, Sajilo Marmat Sewa, and SochWare.

For winning the national-level competition, Tootle has got an opportunity to represent the country at the Global Seedstars Summit in Switzerland and compete with 65 + nations to win up to USD 1 million in equity investments, and network with 2500+ investors and mentors from around the world.

Cover Photograph: Allen Bailochan Tuladhar

By: Basanta Kumar Dhakal