Nigeria’s Gokada is Transforming Transportation Sector
Gokada is an on-demand transportation networking company or motorbike hailing service headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria where customers can order a motorbike ride through the company’s website, or by using the company’s geo-location based mobile app. It was founded in 2018 by Fahim Saleh.
The service was launched originally and started operations in Yaba Axis of Lagos state and has extended their operations to Victoria Island – Lekki Axis Lagos, Nigeria.
The company uses bikes with engine capacities of 200 cc and above meeting government standards for load-bearing on major Lagos roads.
In May 2019 Gokada raised $5.4 million in series A to grow its two-wheel transit business and added luxury yacht service to its bike services in June 2019.
The service requires a Gokada mobile appwhich riders must download to their iOS or Android-based phone, sign up, enter a valid phone number, enter pick up location and request ride. Riders can then request a ride from a nearby driver.
Once confirmed, the app shows the verified driver’s name, photo and bike details, after which the driver will call to confirm the request and destination. All Gokada drivers are licensed operators. The payment method is cash only.
In August 2019, the company shut down temporarily to re-strategize after CEO booked a ride and noticed operational issues and they are currently undergoing maintenance work.
“Gokada is currently undergoing a scheduled relaunch of our service. We will be back online better than ever, August 26th! Sorry for the inconvenience,” a message on the App reads.
Also, in a medium post, Gokada CEO and Co-founder, Fahim Saleh, said, “all Gokada pilots will be off the roads and the Gokada app will be shut down,” within the period.
Saleh said he was disappointed when a trip of 5 mins turned out to take more than 15 mins from the Mainland Bridge to Victoria Island.
While narrating his ugly experience with a Gokada rider, he asked, “How could I be the CEO of Gokada, the company that pioneered motorcycle ride-hailing in Nigeria and be experiencing this?
“…I was disappointed in Gokada but most of all, I was disappointed in myself. I told the pilot to pull over to the side of the road, I would hop over the median and wait for an Uber. ‘This is what it has come to,’ I thought.”
According to Saleh, the company will launch Gokada 2.0 to address some of the challenges faced by riders on the platform including better navigation use.
The startup however resumed operations in September 2019 completely revamped with a new fleet of bikes from a partnership with Chinese company; TVS, safety kackets has also been incorporated and generally techniques to provide safety for the riders.