I gave the evening oratory during their 1st year anniversary. Gokada was “1” and was doing just fine. It was a great evening as emerging leaders in our startup scene came over to party. There was a drawing on the wall in the Ilupeju office: The Future is Green. Gokada had envisaged a future beyond bikes to boats, airlines, and more. I took photos and rode a bike: gentlemen and ladies, start your engines, and fix this transport friction.
But today, with most Gokada staff sacked and investors possibly to see about $6 million vapored (sure, Gokada has started a pivot), how would global investors look at that your pitch deck from Nigeria? Lagos state governor on The Platform last October promised never to do what he just did (see video below)!
Sure, new data can change policies. And that is the burden: Nigeria makes guessworks disguised as policies! If you use a certain size of bike for passenger commercial transport in Lagos, you should be (legally) fine. The regulation that makes it so has not been (publicly) updated (of course, a press conference did).
Unfortunately, that regulation was a product of a guesswork, with no data driving the decision making. It happens daily in our nation, feeding the pendulic somersault on policy revisions and reversals. If you cannot create your future, do not expect to predict it. And when policies become guessworks, investors, entrepreneurs, citizens, and workers pay the prices.
This is Gokada Office after Okada Ban.
Over 200 of its staffs have lost their Jobs after raising $5.6M last year from investors to expand its business.
Nigeria system of Politics Scare most of the foreign investors. pic.twitter.com/7srS4U09q9
— Passionate Blogger (@9jahotvibes) February 5, 2020
There is a big
rumour(it is confirmed now) around Lagos that Gokada has sacked most of its staff . That is expected since with the commercial motorbike passenger ban, business will possibly stall. What is amazing is that Gokada is pivoting to logistics: they have an opportunity there. The only negative now is that the shippers (factories, ecommerce firms, etc) would own the market, as supply of logistics services will be huge; I expect OPay and Max to pivot to the same. With that excessive capacity, logistics will not save these three bike-hailing leaders as they have to cut costs to win businesses since the shippers are not growing that much.
“While much of your report is accurate,” the tweet reads, “we still have money in the bank and are pivoting towards deliveries while this transport ban gets sorted. We were due to make a profit in January before the ban was announced.” Fahim Saleh, Gokada CEO via Twitter
But you can also watch Lagos state governor promising not to do what he just did!
Please Dear Lagosian what was @jidesanwoolu thinking here, this was October 2019, just 4 months ago. If you can't keep this promise, how can we believe your other manifestos.#okadaban #KekeBan#otrek #tinubu #seyimakinde#sanwoolu pic.twitter.com/H12KK1tBku
— 9japromo.com.ng (@9japromoNG) February 3, 2020