Nigerian bike-hailing startup begins food delivery, launches app to serve e-commerce clients

Gokada Rides Ltd., a Nigerian ride-hailing company, has launched an app to boost its e-commerce and food delivery business in Africa’s largest economy. 

After Lagos state banned motorcycle taxi services last year, the startup diversified into last-mile delivery and logistics. Gokada also plans to reintroduce its bike transportation in the states of Ogun and Oyo, where it is still legal. 

Bunnaj Africa gathered that Gokada joins rival Jumia Technologies AG in tapping a market where global giants such as Inc. have yet to make inroads. Gokada Chief Executive Officer Nikhil Goel is keen to emulate the success of Southeast Asian e-commerce giants Gojek and Grab Holdings Inc. in Nigeria. The nation’s food-delivery industry is projected to grow to a $10 billion market by 2025, according to Statistica.

On the back of their bike delivery platforms, Gojek and Grab provide a wide range of services to consumers, including ride hailing, food delivery, and e-commerce, according to Goel in an email. 

“This is exactly what Gokada does as well,” Goel said. “We are excited by what Gokada has the potential to become in Africa.”

The tech company was founded to transport passengers through Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital which has congested highways. 

Even so, it will have to compete with Jumia, which has global clients and was the first to enter the Nigerian market. 

By the end of the year, Gokada plans to expand its delivery network to include Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, Port-Harcourt, the country’s oil hub, and Ibadan, West Africa’s largest city. 

As it expands across the country, the company will take advantage of its recent license with Nigeria’s state-owned postal service agency for cross-country courier and logistics services, according to its statement. 

“The pandemic has enabled us to really test and prove our business model in Lagos and we intend to build on our growth with the launch of our new app,” Goel said.

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