Bike-hailing startup Gokada returns after a week of hiatus


A week after its widely-publicised shut down, pioneer of bike-hailing in Nigeria, Gokada has now resumed operations across Lagos.

It would be recalled that Gokada’s founder announced via a Medium post that the he decided to shuttle operations after he noticed several flaws with the service delivery of the company during his test ride to a location in the city.

While pointing out several challenges confronting the startup, Fahim, said Gokada is also faced with several competitive and regulatory issues that has made its operations difficult in recent times.

The return of Gokada will still be greeted by the competitive pressure from OPay’s ORide, Max and SafeBoda. However, the market dynamics is also getting more complex as OPay has within the few days of Gokada’s absence has launched OBus, a public bus-hailing service which has already started operations on a pilot phase.

It would also be recalled that Fahim promised that Gokada was coming back with new bikes that will be ‘sexy as hell’, the startup is however, yet to provide details of its new bikes and what makes them ‘thick’.

It is expected that Gokada would have used the brief break to perfect its services which was already under intense pressure from cutthroat pricing driven by promotions and rock-bottom bonuses to its new and existing riders.

An industry analysts to PageOne startup desk that Gokada’s shutdown could be a sign that it is fast ‘burning’ up its cash reserves after two months of withstanding ORide aggressive pricing war.

In May, Gokada announced that it raised about $5.3 million from new and existing investors. The announcement was preceeded by Gokada’s update to its customers that it was planning to launch its ferry service called GBoat. It is not clear if it would still go ahead with the launch next year as planned.

While the pressure from ORide seems directed Gokada, its recent bullish moves has showed that OPay has a bigger picture it is looking at.

Latest indications showed that the aggressive strategy of ORide could still give rise to many related service offerings. Three weeks ago, OPay announced the launch of its tricycle service called OTrike across, Aba, Akure, Ibadan and Ilorin.

Less than a month ago, OPay announced that it has raised a total of $50 million from its parent company, Opera Limited and new investors.