The on-demand Nigerian ride-hailing app, GoKada, based in one of Africa’s busiest cities, Lagos, has raised a fresh Series A of USD 5.3 Mn in a round led by Rise Capital with the inclusion of other investors such as Adventure Capital, First Midwest Group, IC Global Partners and a syndicate of other local investors.
The investment will be used by the bike-hailing startup to expand its fleet of riders, which currently stands at over 1000. The funds will also go into the multiplication of GoKada’s daily rides tenfold, the onboarding of regional local talent, and the exploration of new verticals in a champ to achieve more growth.
We’re Ready, SafeBoda
The new funding comes at a time when an East African competitor plans to expand its operations into the commercial nerve of Nigeria.
Uganda-based SafeBoda recently raised an unspecified amount of funding in a Series B believed to have been led by strong-armed investors. Given that the investment would be used for expansion from one African region to another, it could reach seven figures.
Fahim Saleh, Co-Founder, and Co-CEO of Gokada says, “Our green Gokada motorcycles have become a regular feature of Lagos’ roads in the 14 months since our official launch.
Gokada was built to become the future of two-wheel transport in West Africa, and we are fast becoming the go-to platform to hail a motorcycle ride 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”.
GoKada’s a force to be reckoned with in the Nigerian bike-hailing scene. SafeBoda, who has just as much traction in the cities of Uganda, may have some thinking to do, because GoKada may have secured this funding in response to their (SafeBoda’s) expansion plans.
Saleh said in this interview that: “We’re going to start a Gokada club in each of the cities with a restaurant where drivers can relax, and we’ll experiment with a Gokada Shop, where drivers can get things they need on a regular basis, such as plantains, yams, and rice,” Saleh told TechCrunch.
Lagos’ Best-Known Two-Wheeler
GoKada was founded in Lagos in 2018 and has since then secured a total of USD 5.2 Mn in early-stage venture.
It provides quick, safe, and reliable transport in the form of commercial motorcycles for which rider pay around USD 8 every day to use its platform. The functional form of support has now become a fabric of the everyday hippy life in Nigeria’s most congested city.
The startup has acquired no less than 1,000 motorcycles, manned them with trained, insured and verified drivers, all in a bid to make up for the deficiting nature of regular bikes (called okadas in the West African country.
Both riders and passenger used helmets that are certified by the United States Department of Transportation. Users can access the service via its mobile app, which is available for Android and IOS phones.
Since inception, GoKada has completed almost one million rides, getting riders and passengers to their destination 50 percent quicker than car travel.
Thanks to cumulative app download that now at the cusp of 200,000, the bike-hailing service currently ranks as the most popular motorcycle-ailing app in Nigeria and one of the top general 100.
The company reports that Saleh is joined by Nigerian tech stalwart Ayodeji Adewunmi, Director at Rise Capital and the Co-founder and former CEO of Jobberman, who is joining Gokada as Co-CEO. Former CEO Deji Oduntan has stepped down from his role at the company as part of the funding round, according to a statement.
Ayodeji Adewunmi adds, “It is an incredible time to be joining Gokada on this journey to transform transportation in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.
I am truly excited about the promise of Gokada becoming the operating system of how cities function optimally and efficiently across Africa. There is no doubt in my mind that this will become one of the most important companies in Africa.”