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Gokada, a Nigerian motorcycle ride-hailing firm has raised $5.3 million Series A round to scale its business. The funding round was led by Rise Capital and joined by Adventure Capital, IC Global Partners, and Illinois based First MidWest Group.

Gokada, which was founded in 2018, will use the financing to increase its fleet and ride volume while developing a network to offer goods and services to its drivers.

“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,” Fahim Saleh said.

“We don’t do anything with the fares. We want to create an Amazon prime type membership…and ecosystem around the driver where we’re going to provide them more and more services, such as motorcycle insurance, maintenance, personal life-insurance, micro-finance loans,” Saleh said.

“We’re trying to provide a network of great services for our drivers that makes them stick with us, and not necessarily see a reason to switch to other platforms,” said Saleh.

Gokada is also experimenting with adding sensors to its fleet to better track safety standards. “We’re looking at seat sensors and another GPS sensor to track things like ‘did this driver add more than one passenger on the bike’ and all that data will feed back into our servers,” Saleh said.

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The company won’t enter any new countries in Africa in the near future. “We plan to expand all over Nigeria. We think it’s a large enough market for now,” said Saleh. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation (190 million) and the largest economy.

Ayodeji Adewunmi, director at Rise Capital and the co-founder and former CEO of Jobberman, is joining Gokada as Co-CEO, with former CEO Deji Oduntan stepping down from his role at the company as part of the funding round.

“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,” Adewumni said.

Gokada has trained and on-boarded over 1000 motorcycles and their pilots on its app that connects commuters to moto-taxis and the company’s signature green, DOT approved helmets.

The startup has completed nearly 1 million rides since it was co-founded in 2018 by Fahim Saleh, a Bangladeshi entrepreneur who previously founded and exited Pathao, a motorcycle, bicycle, and car transportation company.

Musa Suleiman
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