Gokada was founded in year 2017 by some Nigerian entrepreneurs and a Bangledesh investor, Fahim Saleh who is now the current Chief Executive Officer.
The motorbike hailing service was launched originally in Yaba and started operation in that axis of Lagos state. The organization which has since extended its services to every nook and cranny of the state uses bikes with engine capacities of 200 cc and above.
In May 2019, Gokada was able to raise $5.4 million in series A to grow its two-wheel transit business. The company thereby added luxury yacht service to its bike services in June 2019.
Gokada was doing well until ORide, another motorbike hailing company came into the market with well-structured and mouth-watering offers. Others, such as Max, Safeboda, etc have also joined the train.
In what many describe as a surprise development, Gokada, on August 14, 2019, suddenly shut down its operations without prior notice.
Although, its CEO, and Co-founder, Fahim Saleh, had claimed that the decision to shut down was to comprehensively rebrand and rejig Gokada’s operations following the ‘operational’ hurdles he experienced during a ride. But when CobraReview investigated the matter, it was revealed that the hailing bike’s closure was due to the actions of the Lagos state government over its failure to comply with certain agreements and regulations.
According to our findings, Lagos State Government had called the attention of the transportation technology firm to the original agreement signed by both parties. The agreement specifies the type and model of bikes to be used for the services across the state’s highways. Unfortunately the firm failed to meet the standards specified in that agreement, forcing LASG to move into enforcement mode. Our findings reveal that the state government believes Gokada is putting the lives of riders and passengers at risk by deploying the lower capacity bikes for long distance highway rides.
Gokada, in a Medium blog post press statement says that its temporal shutdown, which according to them is geared towards rejigging and rebranding would last from August 14, till Monday, August 26, 2019.
Well, just like it promised while shutting down, the company relaunched on Wednesday, August 28, 2019. Although, Gokada is said to have rejigged, re-branded and relaunched, but we are yet to see the new face of the bike hailing firm. In fact, one barely see their bikes on Lagos roads. Should we say its comeback is more of a paperwork that was never executed? Can we ascribe its ‘off-show’ to lack of strategy from the part of its management? Do we say her competitors, ORide especially has taken over the market or its low patronage is due to its temporal closure?
Concerned about this apparent disappearance of Gokada bikes, CobraReview took to the streets of Lagos to seek passengers’ opinions on why the hailing service is on the low.
Modupe Afolabi, a consistent hailing bike user says: “Gokada planned it all wrong. Shutting down its service for whatever reason is a big mistake, and coming back without a mouth-watering promo is the height of it. Who does that? When you’ve got big competitor like Opay, you need to relaunch with a killing promo. Right now, OPay is treating me well and I don’t see myself substituting them anytime soon.”
Jude Igwu, a baker says: “Take it or leave it, Gokada is gone. Imagine! A whole pioneering bike hailing firm in the country shutting down without prior notice, and coming back without any customer oriented strategy. Even before its shutdown, it has turned into general bike. Most of their bikes then were dirty, and rough. In fact, most of their riders lack basic customer service attributes. I often patronize them whenever I’ve got deliveries to make then, but right now, it’s either I use OPay or Max.”
A frequent hailing passenger, Kehinde Oluwafemi, is of the opinion that Gokada’s struggle is not unconnected to poor planning or strategy.
“Gokada got it all wrong from its temporal shutdown. It’s obvious they didn’t planned it well, else, they wouldn’t have gone off in that manner. Another thing is the way they came back. No one comes back without customer incentives and still want to remain relevant. I think Gokada goofed in that aspect,” he said.
Although, Gokada claims during it relaunch that it’s back with new bikes, but where are the bikes? How has their patronage been since its purported relaunch? And how far will this comatose service get them going? Can Gokada ever regain its dominance in the hailing market again? Only time will tell!
CobraReview invites Readers, Product enthusiasts and consumers to send in their independent reviews of products/services and their experiences to email@example.com for free and instant publication.
READ ALSO! Prostate: What Many Men Don’t Know!