By Jude Okaro
-He had over 2,000 bikes and riders ply all the major roads and crannies of Lagos
-Most of the bikes had been stolen by the riders and some others not duly accounted for.
-The price tag on one bike with a CC above 150(the allowable treshold for motorbikes on Lagos highways)......
-The investors feel spited, and feel reprieved with the Gokada situation but very more so, they feel their monies......
Fahim Saleh, a techprenuer and the founder of Gokada one of the foremost bike hailing companies in Lagos, was murdered recently in his Manhattan condo for reasons yet to be identified by forensic officers.
A burgeoning and smart 33 year old computer maverick was cut short in his prime after his start up in Lagos state Nigeria, had unfortunately collided with bureaucratic and political brick walls.
Leaving the enterprise to die prematurely and surrendering the young CEO to the mercy of investors who he had once pooled funds from.
At the top of the matter, is not the cost of building and maintaining an enterprise software which through my investigations could run into a few thousands in dollar denomination. The price tag on one bike with a CC above 150(the allowable treshold for motorbikes on Lagos highways) is invariably above 300 thousand Naira.
He had over 2,000 bikes and riders ply all the major roads and crannies of Lagos. In guesstimate, any amount well above 2 million dollars is a fair value for the valuation on his fleet.
An overall cost that big, may be one too high for an unforgiving investor to place a bet on a Nigerian market that suffers from a consistency in flip-flopping policies.
Getting such funds out of the hands of hesitant investors, he must have juiced up his revenue projections using a combination of metrics like; traffic duration, population size, impatient business men, a receptive government, a large number of working class commuters without cars, convenience e.t.c.
Fortune smiled on Fahim and thus he was able to close funding deals from these big investors who were more weary than he would have been naturally.
After funding, Fahim spurred into business action. He got his men on the bike and things went up really quick for the company, only to get a devastating government intrusion and eventual termination of business.
Most of the bikes had been stolen by the riders and some others not duly accounted for. Like as if the abrupt end of the company was not enough, the theft and the damaging of some bikes had left a deep hole in the financial coffers of the company.
And there was Fahim, temporarily retired back to his Manhattan home in New York, living within the walls of an expensive condor said to be worth 2 million Dollars.
Now times are hard, and the pandemic has shouldered the world with a lot of uncertainties, hence leaving humans with so much gloom and bleakness in financial gains and business growth, especially in the transport sector which is one of the most strongly hit business spaces.
The investors feel spited, and feel reprieved with the Gokada situation but very more so, they feel their monies went down the drain without any hope to source for them back.
Fahim should have known better, to understand that his life was not safe even has he was unable to make any adjustments to his already comfortable highbrow living.
They must have gotten exasperated and thought of Fahim as one without regards for the plight of for his funders who must have gone broke just to invest in bikes.
That was a deal breaker and might have been the cause of his death.
Selling his home to settle in part, some of the debts would have saved his life and who knows if it would have granted him a safe landing to rake in more investment to other tech ventures.
In all, Fahim was a good man and Lagos State Government should learn to be more altruistic in taking decisions that affect investors and investments alike.
Rest on Fahim!
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