To all adventurous people out there! This is Odisi, a hot and upcoming Bahrain-based startup!
Do you like trying out new experiences with your friends or family? Whether it’s sushi making or a three-day music festival, Odisi is for you!
Odisi is an events marketplace that helps you discover and book unique social experiences. They curate and craft these experiences by partnering with the most interesting people and places in the country.
The name speaks for itself as it’s inspired by Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey; meaning epic journey. Similarly, Odisi is a lifestyle brand that wants to get people to break out of their daily routines and seek adventures by trying out something new every day.
Co-Founded by Amshan Ashraf, a local serial entrepreneur who’s worked with several startups since he was just 17 years old. Odisi emerged through the focus of creating a guide for people to find more about restaurants and hidden gems around Bahrain. The idea itself was not powerful enough to support the core vision of the startup; that is to create a positive impact on people’s lives, eventually, the team realized that the element of involving people was the missing piece of the puzzle.
According to Amshan, it took thorough researching and selection process for the right people to have Odisi up and running. Eventually, the startup managed to have over 50 signed partnerships and 200 listed events in under 8 months!
In fact, the Rowad team from the Bahrain Development Bank supported the startup in terms of business-financial consulting, as well as receiving funds and equity investment through an accelerator program that helped shape the beginning of Odisi.
This sure sounds like a piece of cake, but Amshan told us about the challenges the Odisi team faced, “The biggest challenge was recruitment, following a textbook recipe of a seed funded started, we made a couple of bad calls in terms of hiring. “We found out strong key hires, aged, specialized and expensive was a terrible idea and one of the challenges that almost broke us,” he added.
Amshan expressed how growing up in Bahrain pushed him to join several social groups with the most fascinating individuals. From a weekly dinner with his Italian friends to a basic gathering at a farm sipping on Karak. Amshan eventually learned that expensive meals and exciting activities do not bring wonders but interesting people, community elders, historians and profound locals do.
Why did Amshan choose to launch in Bahrain? He expressed, “Bahrain is a small city with a big dream, a sandbox at the heart of the GCC and one of the most welcoming and strongly rooted to its culture and heritage.”