The Director of Government Relation, Gokada, Kayode Adegbola, has stated that the company, after recording success in Lagos, will soon expand to other states in Nigeria with the $5 million (N1.8 billion) equity investment secured early June this year.
He stated this when he led the management team of the company to the Corporate Head Office of THISDAY Newspapers in Lagos.
Gokada is an on-demand transportation company or motorbike hailing service headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria.
He disclosed that the company has also introduced GBOAT to the market to ensure effective water transportation in Lagos.
According to him, “We currently operate only in Lagos but we recently closed the series A fund raising round of $5.3 million, which is primarily to expand the business.”
He said the capital raising was led by a Silicon Valley company called Rise Capital and was closed early June this year.
The investment, he added, allows it to scale up quickly, acquire more motor bikes, invest deeper into technology disclosing that it is in the process of acquiring more motor bikes.
On the purpose of the visit, he said: “When we discussed with ourselves about the need to build a relationship with the people that are disseminating news, we said “THISDAY has to be the first that we will speak to.”
He said Gokada is about 18 months old and has completed one million rides with 98.8 per cent safety rate.
“That safety rate is achieved through a lot of things, we ensure that we sensitise our pilots very frequently, but even beyond that, we have partnered with the best defense driving training institute in the world based in Indonesia. So we give our pilots the best training possible. Our partner has trained over 400 thousand pilots globally.
“In terms of safety we are your motor cycle hailing company. When I talk about 99.8 per cent record safety, I am not talking about 99 per cent out of 300 rides. At over one million rides you then know that that percentage is scalable. If you have done up to one million and you have such a high safety rate, if you continue that way then you are up to something good,” he said.
He said some of their pilots are earning five times what they were earning before they joining the company adding, “We have some who are earning up to N150, 000 a month, which people with white collar jobs don’t earn. Also, beyond their earning, there are other benefits that are accruing to them. For example, all our pilots are insured, they have spousal empowerment, they will eventually have the ability to take loans on the back of their projected earnings, ownership of the bikes transfers to them after one year to 18 months of diligent returns. Generally, beyond just providing mobility it is a social economic programme that many people don’t realise it is.”
On security, he said the company has spoken to government officials and regulators adding that the fears that motor bikes are not safe is not correct.
He said they have GPS trackers that ensure they know what the riders are at a particular point in time.
“We can remotely shutdown a bike if it is being used for something that it should not be used for. We have seat sensors that ensure that the bikes are not carrying more than one passenger. If there is a crime committed somewhere, because we can remotely shutdown the bike it allows us to provide information and cooperation with the security services as well. We also have a speed limiting device on each bike. On the back of us implementing these things we have gotten calls from state governments and security agencies,” he said.
While welcoming the team earlier, the Managing Editor of THISDAY Newspapers Limited, Mr. Joseph Ushighale said THISDAY, like Gokada, was not given any chance when it broke into the newspaper industry but has since broken grounds to become the flagship newspaper in the country.
THISDAY Newspaper, he stated, revolutionised the newspaper industry in the country by printing simultaneously across four geopolitical zones in the country, thereby making it possible for its readers to read breaking news across the country.