Travly Co-Founder Joins Careem

In news that might come as a shock to many, the gregarious public face of Travly, Talaal Burny, has left the startup to join Careem, we have checked.

Travly, a rickshaw hailing service that’s a darling in the local startup community, recently raised over $200,000 from CresVentures. Popular for its hyperlocalized marketing, the startup has been gaining steam and looking to expand beyond its native Lahore.

Speaking about his decision to leave Travly, Talaal said:

It was a personal choice. I am going to reveal the reason, even though many might disagree. I come from an educated and religious family. My mother did multiple istakhars and the outcome wasn’t positive. Hence, I had to follow it and respect the decision.

He laughed off rumors about a fallout and stressed that his departure was amicable. As you might expect after 6 years of grinding it together though, it wasn’t easy on anyone.

He elaborated:

The day I left Travly was one of the worst days of my life. I’ve poured sweat and blood into it and it was like losing a child. The team was devastated since we are more like a family than anything. They understood though and so did Sir Faisal Sherjan, who has been like a second father to me.

Interestingly, Talaal received an offer from Careem after he quit his operational role at Travly. He cited the chance to work in the same vertical under the leadership of Junaid Iqbal, MD for Careem in Pakistan, as one of the reasons he accepted the Fleet Manager / Manager Special Projects role.

Regardless of the reasons behind the departure, both stated and unstated, there are questions going to be raised about the long term viability of startups in Pakistan. A co-founder leaving after a huge funding round doesn’t look good, either for the Travly or the startup ecosystem in the country. It also highlights the need for iron clad contracts with non-competes and other legalese that is standard in other developed markets.

It’s worth mentioning that this is the second case of Careem going after a talent within the same vertical. Madeeha Hassan, the pioneering founder of the popular but never quite mainstream Savaree, joined the company 4 months ago as Product Lead in an acquihiring.

Careem has been highly active in the Pakistani market and is coming fresh off the heels of a $60 million dollar capital injection at the tail end of 2015. Already a viable competitor to Uber in the Middle East, it has stepped up efforts after the latter’s entry into Pakistan.

Shoring up of talent and ample offline presence indicate that Careem is getting ready to go to war with Uber for the Pakistani ride hailing space. Could we see a more active Uber now that its Chinese woes are over? Only time will tell.

Oh and if you’re wondering if an operations role means an end to Talaal’s signature dank memes, unfortunately, it does. But we’re pretty sure that is only until the Careem social media team wanders off for a coffee and leaves their accounts unattended.

Talal is a Director and the Chief Content Officer at ProPakistani. Reach out at [email protected]


  • Travly is failed attempt. And a huge farce given the tall claims of concerned. Even founder knows it and he left sheepishly. Oh and that investment by cresventures was just a gimmick. Anyways, it is outrageous that this &*&* is using religion to justify his departure. What a shameless liar. Where was his mother’s istikhara for such a long time? His decision making and lame excuses (a direct insult to Islam) are a load of baloney all in all.
    When an entrepreneur+founder turns into an employee, he must be a loser. And when he uses religion to justify, that has to be outrageous. Now let me tell the truth. His mother did some istikhara for his rishta. Results were not positive, because he did not have a regular job. So, he had to get one. Simple. It has absolutely nothing to do with his masterful planning. I dont have to be an insider to state the obvious.
    And no, i am not a competitor or anyone who has a beef with any of these species. It just hurts me that he had the audacity to state a blatant lie, based on religion, in order to miserably hide his evident failure. Careem! be ware. You hired someone who makes his decisions after his mother performs istikhara.

    • > When an entrepreneur+founder turns into an employee, he must be a loser.

      And this, folks, is why there are fewer startups in Pakistan than in other countries. Other countries accept that 8/10 startups will fail and keep that in mind. Someone who started a company, got it going for several years before it fails (for whatever logistic, financial, market) reason is still someone who UNDERSTANDS business and marketing and strategy better than an fresh MBA who just got out of LUMS or IBA. And yet, Wela here, (a loser forever himself since he has never founded a company) thinks the MBA is worth more than an experienced person.

      What a loser you are, Wela! And the people who think like you. Where do you work, an established business like a bank or insurance company or MNC? Never took a risk? Fine, be a wage slave for the rest of your life. Be happy, wage slave, be happy with your steady paycheck and lack of innovation.

      Almost every company is a GAMBLE. Almost every company was originally a STARTUP. Even large companies like Apple and Ford and Marks & Spencers: ALL OF THEM WERE STARTUPS ONCE. And if you read up on famous ones, in several cases for founders it was not their FIRST company that succeeded and some of them went broke or had to find jobs or whatever before trying again. For a good local example, see Rozee. Monis Rahman had a company called edaycare. IT FAILED. Is there anyone in Pakistan who will call Monis Rahman a loser?

      More examples: Zia Imran (Vahzay, and PSEB). Has a job now and makes Jalbujh in his spare time. Failure? Amir Mateen (Xavor, then Cisco). Failure?

      Wela will have you think that you should not try because if you fail, you will be a loser. Don’t be like Wela.

      > I dont have to be an insider to state the obvious.

      The “obvious”? Ha ha ha ha! How is it “obvious” to you who isn’t an insider?

      > You hired someone who makes his decisions after his mother performs istikhara.

      Still he shows more maturity than you.

      • lol. if you had to argue with me, a self professed wela, it means i did make a point. You got carried away, dear baby brother. For instance, where did I even use the word “MBA”? You wrote a whole para on that. The imaginarium of “shahid naam ka” commentator :)
        >>>”Fine, be a wage slave for the rest of your life. Be happy, wage slave,
        >>>be happy with your steady paycheck and lack of innovation.”
        That is indeed meant for the deserter who could not get married until he got a stable job. Instikhara is just a lame excuse. Same applies to you, if you are doing job. You dont sound like an entrepreneur and any species with ambition. There are tell tale signs, after all. For one, you are arguing with a wela.
        I’ll say it again, y’all should stop insulting Islam with your antics. He could have cited any other reason, and I would no have bothered to comment.
        I am wela and i happen to waste all day on internet. I happen to know already, that theres no difference b/w a startup and a business. The fancy term wasnt coined long ago.
        Mind you, that an entrepreneur does not call it quits just after first attempt. All examples you wrote, are a testament to that. You actually endorsed my point. Who changes direction after just one failure, and blames it on istikhara of mom? Toddler? Failures are pride of entrepreneurs. Thats what maturity is. Please correct your last sentence. You forgot to add “im” before “maturity”.
        And now, heres a textual meme. “mama, meri shadi kar do”. “abay, ja, koi job kar. warna tujy lardki kaun dega”. “quits entrepreneurship, joins bonded laborers”. “got married, and that was the last significant thing in his life”.
        Couldn’t he have said something like this:
        ” I have had a very exciting time at Travly and I shall always hold it closest to my heart. I believe I have helped it grow to an unbeatable level, and it has cemented its place in local rickshaw hiring demographic. Along the way, together, we brought about a social change. We succeeded in empowering several women, besides men; and now they can earn a better livelihood. I wanted to initiate a chain reaction in social entrepreneurship, and luckily, thats exactly what I did. Travly is now strong enough to go on without me and I dont have any more significant contribution to offer it. So, I have decided to part ways and let someone better take my place.”
        See, how an absolute wela can offer a better and professional explanation of someone else’s decision? Learn a thing or two from me. I am wela, and thus, I have a lot of time to think.
        Anyway, look down below. people are already making fun of istikhara
        because a loser did not have the pair to be a man and accept his failure
        or whatever. I stand by my strong disagreement detailed earlier. Religion is not a tool or a joke.

        • Oh dear. Being idle has affected your thinking that much… so sad to see such talent wasted. Assuming there was any talent in the first place of course

          You didn’t use word MBA, but it’s implied. After all, for his new post in Careem, what would be an alternative to him? Yep, someone with an MBA. See what I mean about your thinking? Such idleness… leads to such fail.

          > That is indeed meant for the deserter who could not get married until he got a stable job.

          So let me get it straight. He went from a smaller startup to a better funded (but still) startup, and you think his job is more stable now. Wow. He could have joined all sorts of “established” “mature” “conglomerate” etc etc companies but he joined another STARTUP. And for you that means stable. Wow.

          > Instikhara is just a lame excuse.

          You have no inside knowledge as to what happened. Period. You called him a liar for mentioning Istikhara, and you think it is a insult on using religion, but you have no inside knowledge at all to make that judgement. But of course it is so easy, dear idle wela dood, to judge him isn’t it. You cant resist the urge. It doesn’t matter how many other wela commenters make fun of that excuse, it’s not a democracy here.

          > Same applies to you, if you are doing job. You dont sound like an entrepreneur and any species with ambition.

          As a matter of fact, I work at a startup. In fact, over 80% of my professional career has been at different startups. Not wela like you, but hungry. None failures, if it helps. Need advice?

          By the way, if he was a real failure, no other startup working in a similar space would hire him. And yet that’s what he’s doing now as a non-founder at a startup. So either Careem doesn’t know what it’s doing, or you don’t. Not very hard to figure out which is which.

  • If you can’t beat them, join them :)
    Its as simple as that. Travly were a bunch of losers anyway.

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