The concept of ridesharing is fast catching up with Nigerians with startups like Ridebliss, Jekalo, Pair and Gomyway. In this post, Startup Nigeria shines the spotlight on Gomyway, as we bring to you excerpts from the chat we had with co-founder, Damilola Teidi. In a brief discussion, she tells us how the startup plans to capture the hearts of Nigerians all over while giving us a little scoop into the startup’s plans for expansion in the coming months.
First of all, a quick introduction – Go my way is a ride sharing platform that connects passengers with car owners who ply the same route and have a couple of seats to spare at significantly cheaper rates. The application gives one access to both inter-state and intra-state rider sharers and passengers.
Speaking on its value proposition, Damilola points out that Gomyway was borne out of the need to solve the traffic challenges faced by those residing in the urban areas as the startup has contributed immensely to the reduction of the number of cars plying the roads.
In her words, “…we are providing a great service here; by reducing traffic congestion on our roads we are also reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Personal vehicles are a major source of global warming around the world and if we can reduce the amount of vehicles on the road, we would also be reducing the amount of time we spend in traffic jams as well as contributing to a safer and cleaner environment.”
Bringing it back to the local context, she points out that the service is cheaper than getting an entire cab all to yourself as drivers are usually given a recommended price and are advised not to exceed a set price limit, it’s available nation-wide and it helps foster community spirit.
Gomyway has thousands of registered users and is backed by Sim Shagaya founder and former CEO, Konga, Co-Creation hub and Bill Paladino (Ex-Amazon executive). The startup currently bases its operations at the Co-Creation Hub, Yaba, Lagos even as it concludes plans to expand to other African countries.
Speaking on the challenges faced by the startup when they first set out, Miss Teidi was quick to point out personnel issues as a major factor. Getting the right fit of talent and personality from the multitude of applications that were sent in proved to be an uphill task. Other challenges included getting car owners to buy into the idea and it was much more difficult getting car owners to signup than getting prospective passengers to use the platform – a situation that the company was able to resolve through product education on social media, traditional media houses (radio shows) as well as face-to-face reach-outs.
When we enquired as to how they were technically able to bridge the trust gap, the co-founder intimated us with basic background checks that were carried out on car owners who indicate interest in signing up. She also pointed us to the reviews and ratings that passengers are encouraged to leave on the platform so as to put prospective customers at ease. The startup also has in its employ, a dedicated support team that ensures effective monitoring of all activities on its platform.
ADVICE TO UPCOMING ENTERPRENEURS
Damilola has this to say;
“It’s okay if you do not have the money, start something, work on visibility and concentrate on building the numbers. While doing that, ensure you actually speak to your users, a change we are about to effect is as a result of speaking to our users and finding out that what we had before was not being understood by most of them. Besides, talking to your followers also helps to bridge the trust-gap because if you do not establish that connection now, you would not be able to do that when you scale.”
Damilola is a graduate of Information Technology at Eastern Mediterranean University, Cyprus. She also has a Masters in Strategy and Innovation from the School of Management, Southampton and has spent quite a number of years working as a software developer in Lagos
Image credit: Bayo Lawson