Nigerian Ride-Hailing Startup Raises $5.3M For Motorcycle Unit

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On-demand motorcyle ride-hailing startup Gokada has announced that it has raised a $5.3-million Series-A round led by San Francisco-based Rise Capital.

The Lagos-based startup said in a statement today that Adventure Capital, First MidWest Group, IC Global Partners, and several other unnamed local investors also participated in the round.

The startup said it will use the investment to expand its driver fleet, increase daily rides by a factor of 10 and to acquire local talent. In addition, Gokada also plans to explore new verticals for business growth.

Gokada was launched in 2018 by Fahim Saleh and Deji Oduntan

Gokada was launched last year by co-CEOs Fahim Saleh (pictured above, left) and Deji Oduntan — who will be stepping down as part of the deal.

Oduntan will be replaced by Rise Capital director and former Jobberman co-founder and CEO Ayodeji Adewunmi (pictured above, right).

The startup claimed in the statement that since launching last year, it has acquired 1000 motorcycles (or okadas as they are known locally).

These, it added, are manned by trained, insured and verified drivers equipped with US Department of Transportation approved and certified helmets.

Gokada said it has completed close to one million rides since inception and that its app has been downloaded 200 000 times.

The startup recently celebrated its first year in business with the launch of a new office in Ilupeju, Lagos which will house a driver training school to train and verify up to 500 drivers at a time.

Saleh said he wants Gokada to become the future of motorcycle transport in West Africa and that the startup is fast becoming the go-to motorcycle ride-hailing platform in Lagos.

“Today’s announcement allows us to accelerate our growth projections significantly, as we continue to grow our market share and look to introduce more product features and services,” he added.

Rise Capital founder and managing partner Nazar Yasin said Gokada’s rapid entry into Lagos’ transport market has been transformative.

Yasin said he had noted that markets like Nigeria and Indonesia –which both have large populations and inadequate road infrastructure — are more likely to be dominated by motorcycle-hailing companies rather than traditional car-hailing players.

Said Yasin: “Gokada’s relentless focus on product, customer service, and safety has enabled them to take advantage of this dynamic and produce some truly impressive growth metrics”.

Featured image, left to right: Gokada co-CEOs Fahim Saleh and Ayodeji Adewunmi (Supplied)

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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