Gokada to launch ride-hailing service in two Nigerian cities as part of super app plans – TechCrunch

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When two of Indonesia’s greatest firms — ride-hailing firm Gojek and e-commerce market Tokopedia — joined forces as GoTo Group final month, a key spotlight from the merger was that the last-mile supply house continues to be an enormous international pattern.

In Nigeria, the e-commerce and last-mile supply market is projected to be price over $20 billion within the subsequent 5 years. Huge gamers like Jumia have appreciable market share but smaller platforms are more and more carving out theirs. Considered one of such is ride-hailing-turned-logistics firm Gokada.

Gokada launched in 2018 as a ride-hailing firm in Lagos, Nigeria. However in 2020, Gokada started providing logistics (Gsend) and meals supply companies (GShop) after a ride-hailing ban by the Lagos State authorities affected its operations. At this time, the corporate is combining all these companies (which have operated independently previously) right into a single software.

“In September and October, we launched GShop which is the meals supply platform for Gokada. What we realized from our clients was that whereas they have been utilizing the Gsend and GShop individually, they got here to us asking if we might put them collectively,” stated Gokada CEO Nikhil Goel to TechCrunch. “So doing that is extra like a transition from different issues we have been doing and making it simpler for our clients to have all our companies in a single platform and create an excellent app.”

Gokada’s tremendous app plans are coming off the again of a formidable yr for the corporate regardless of a troubling first few months in the course of the pandemic. As early as February, the corporate downsized and laid off greater than half its employees after the ban on bikes in Lagos. It rapidly pivoted to logistics and meals supply and hasn’t regarded again.

This previous yr, Gokada has crossed over $100 million in annualized transaction worth. It has additionally helped greater than 30,000 retailers on its platform to execute over 1 million meals supply and e-commerce orders.

“Earlier than Gokada ventured into ride-hailing in Lagos, individuals questioned us. Once we entered the supply house, it was the identical query individuals requested. They stated we didn’t have the expertise. However at present, in case you have a look at it critically, we’ve modified this market in a special method,” Goel stated. 

Goel, who took over the reins at Gokada this March after founder Fahim Saleh tragically handed on, has been instrumental to the corporate’s spectacular development thus far. Per info shared by Gokada, the corporate’s quantity development has elevated 3x within the final six months whereas income elevated 10x inside the previous yr.

Gokada

Picture Credit: Gokada

Earlier than turning into CEO, Goel had three roles since becoming a member of the corporate in 2019 — VP of Rides, COO, and appearing president. Beforehand, he additionally co-founded Indian edtech startup Classplus and labored as a common supervisor at Indian meals supply large Zomato. His stint at Zomato and information of the food-delivery and logistics house might be key to how Gokada pulls off its tremendous app ambitions.

Though Gokada is simply current in Lagos, the corporate is trying to launch its companies throughout different cities together with Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan and Ogun. And never solely will the tremendous app enable Gokada clients in these cities to entry meals supply, e-commerce (medicines and groceries amongst different provides), and logistics, however they may have the ability to use ride-hailing companies.

The corporate plans to start out with neighbouring markets to Lagos — Ogun and Ibadan. Within the latter, there’s already a ride-hailing platform within the type of SafeBoda. The corporate, which is current in Uganda and Nigeria, employs an excellent app mannequin within the East African nation however presents solely ride-hailing companies in Ibadan, the one Nigerian metropolis the place it operates.

For a lot of final yr, SafeBoda has loved dominance within the southwestern metropolis however Gokada’s arrival, particularly because it plans to supply different companies, may threaten its commanding place.

“We began with its ride-hailing service in Lagos. We have been principally generally known as one of many pioneers of ride-hailing in Lagos earlier than the ban. To this point, we’ve not ventured exterior Lagos, and the explanation for that has been that we needed to stay centered on our new enterprise right here. And it’s evident that if you transfer throughout Lagos, you will notice our supply bikes in all places on the highway. However ride-hailing will at all times stick with us wherever we go exterior town,” the CEO added. Gokada is in talks to safe operational licenses for ride-hailing however has already acquired a NIPOST licence to mitigate future dangers on the regulatory entrance and enable them to function courier logistics companies throughout the nation.

Whereas companies in an excellent app can differ from one platform to a different, funds is the defining performance that ties these choices collectively. For now, Gokada solely gives a subset of that which is a pockets function and a debit card choice to pay for these companies. On why that is the case, Goel stated: “Earlier than many of those firms like Seize and Gojek received into funds, they have been offering different companies. The concept for an excellent app is to supply clients with totally different companies underneath one umbrella to ease their lives. That’s what we’re doing however we’re open to a funds play sooner or later.”

Not like different markets in Asia, Africa doesn’t have clear leaders within the tremendous app race. Subsequently, Gokada will be part of a rising listing of platforms clamouring for supremacy of their respective markets, a spot OPay appeared to be gunning for earlier than shutting down its non-fintech verticals final yr to concentrate on its cost companies. 

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