Gokada to take on Safeboda, set to launch bike-hailing service in Ibadan and Ogun

Gokada is Back and 'Sexy'! People Online are Sharing Their Experiences
Gokada 2.0

One of the more popular names in the last-mile logistics space in Nigeria is Gokada. Before February 2020, it was renowned for its services in the bike-hailing sector, giving another option to people who needed to quickly navigate the dense traffic that the country’s commercial hub of Lagos is known for.

A ban on bike-hailing by the Lagos State government led to a shutting down of that arm of Gokada’s business and it’s been focused on logistics ever since.

Gokada bike riders protesting the ride hailing ban in 2020

But a new chapter is about to start in the three year old startup’s journey. Following in the footsteps of Max.ng and Safeboda, it is reviving its e-hailing business with its focus firmly fixed outside Lagos. It is starting with Oyo and Ogun States respectively.

In a fashion similar to that of Opay when it was still operating all its verticals, Gokada will be going back to the super app approach. All of its existing services and the new ride-hailing feature will be accessible on a single app for users.

The startup currently has the GSend and GShop apps where users can send packages and get food respectively.

Now, users in Ibadan and Ogun will be able to access GSend and GShop services as well as hail a bike. Users in Lagos will have every feature except the ride hailing.

Gokada’s CEO, Nikhil Goel, told TechCrunch that users had been asking for the super app for a while now.

Gokada to take on Safeboda, set to launch bike-hailing service in Ibadan and Ogun
Nikhil Goel

He said, “What we realized from our customers was that while they were using the GSend and GShop separately, they came to us asking if we could put them together.”

Despite what was a challenging 2020, the company ended up doing very well for itself. By its admission, Gokada recorded a revenue increase 10 times that same year and increased its volume growth three times within 6 months.

Another landmark for the company was that it recorded over $100 million in annual transaction value. It completed more than 1 million food delivery and e-commerce orders for over 30,000 merchants that use its platforms.

Goel took over as Gokada’s CEO after the gruesome murder of Fahim Saleh, founder and former CEO of the company.

He joined the company in 2019 as the Vice President for Rides, then took on the role of Chief Operating Officer and then President before becoming CEO in 2021.

He has a background in food delivery from his time working as a general manager with India’s Zomato. As the company takes on Safeboda and continues to make inroads into the logistics space, Goel’s experience will come in handy in positioning the company properly.

In Ibadan, the competition already awaits. Safeboda and Max.ng are players in the space.

Safeboda marked its first anniversary in Nigeria about three months ago. Babajide Duroshola, the country manager told Technext that the company is just getting started in all its operations. With over 2,500 riders already with Safeboda and a good track record, the battle promises to be interesting as Gokada enters the fray.

"Ride-Hailing Apps Would Have Helped Lagos Curbed the Spread of COVID-19 Better"- Babajide Duroshola of SafeBoda
Babajide Duroshola

Notwithstanding, there is still ample space for Gokada’s bike-hailing business in Ibadan. As Duroshola himself pointed out, “In a city like Ibadan that is 3,000km2+ and only 80,000 active okadas, there is still so much land to cover.”

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