The latest ban of business bikes and tricycles in most elements of Lagos, Nigeria has seen Gokada, one of many main gamers within the motorbike on demand area lay-off most of its workers and plot a pivot.
The startup lately laid off a big a part of its workers, and CEO, Fahim Saleh says it was necessitated by the latest ban, and a necessity to pivot.
We’re pivoting to deliveries whereas transport will get found out, Saleh informed TechCabal in a phone dialog.
He additionally hinted at a Gokada boat service that may launch anytime in February, or actual quickly.
One 24-passenger boat simply got here in, and one other is sitting on the port ready to be cleared from customs, Saleh stated.
On the lay-offs, Saleh stated they have been necessitated by a necessity to proactively alter to circumstances and minimize down burn price. He additionally claims not to make certain how many individuals have been affected by the sack.
What does this imply for Gokada?
Based in 2017, Gokada was the second motorbike hailing firm to enter the Nigerian mobility area; after MAX.ng which launched in 2015.
Gokada began off with huge stylish advertising and marketing campaigns and a resultant picture that appealed to a bigger demographic of youthful folks. The campaigns labored as their inexperienced helmets appeared to be in all places.
However lately, the startup appeared to be struggling following troubles in inexperienced helmet land. A shakeup that began round August of 2018, and ended with Deji Oduntan stepping down as CEO in March 2019, allegations of mismanagement, and a newer 2-week shutdown to rejig operations.
On the time, critics stated opposite to Salehs declare, Gokadas momentary shutdown and ORides launch weren’t coincidental.
Pivots are nice methods to navigate murky waters, or final ditch efforts to serve dying companies.
Following its latest troubles and competitors, is the federal government ban an excuse for Gokada to escape its personal inner troubles and withdraw from the troubled waters of bike hailing in Nigerias most populous metropolis?
Or only a actually sensible pivot?
Whereas insisting that Gokadas funds have been in place and that the corporate was headed in the appropriate path, Saleh tells me that the ban meant 80% of the workforce turned redundant.
In accordance to him, delivery was at all times within the Gokada masterplan.
We have been at all times going to do deliveries, and had began to develop the tech for it, however this ban accelerated the method.
What does the long run maintain?
Whether or not the transport arm of its enterprise returns or not, Saleh is assured that there is a necessity for the delivery service, and that Gokada can construct out an MVP quick sufficient for its drivers to return to incomes cash on the platform.
The corporate is additionally working to transfer its transport service to different states.
And the boat service?
In between authorities approval and getting traders to again us for scale, there is nonetheless a variety of work that has to be achieved in this regard. I would like to get lots of of those boats within the water, Saleh stated.
When, and if, it will definitely launches, Gokada won’t be the primary to pilot a boat service in Lagos.
In October 2019, Uber launched its UberBOAT together with the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA). 5 months later, not a lot is identified in regards to the standing of the challenge.
Sensible pivot or intelligent maneuver, Gokada has bold plans. This additionally seems to be like a viable path for different gamers which were affected by the ban.