GoMyWay Is Shutting Down and, We Have Questions
It is sad that for the first time GoMyWay is being mentioned on this platform, it is about exit from the Nigerian startup space.
Recently, the chief executive officer of GoMyWay, Damilola Teidi, made the following announcement by sending a mail to its users.
“I hope you are doing well. It is with deep regret that I write this email to let you know that GoMyWay will be closing down. In this email, I’ll let you know why we are closing as well as offer an alternative service. I hope you take a few minutes to read.
In 2015, I was hired as the CEO, via recommendation by my previous employers, to run GoMyWay. The plan by its Shareholders/Investors was to run a free service for a year or two, and focus on growing the user-base.
Over the last 2 years, the team put in time and effort to growing the business and building a trusted ridesharing community. We went from less than 1000 members in the first few months to 12,000+ members; 106,630 rides offered and rides shared across 16 states. However, it does take a lot of resources to run this business and the initial plan was no longer sustainable. The Shareholders/Investors came to a conclusion to shut down operations and close the business as there were no funds to invest further.
I want to specially thank you for your support. I believe GoMyWay had the best community and I can write a few pages about it. We had users who spread the word about us even when we had no referral codes to give in return. I remember when Yinka visited a member and he had mentioned how everyone in his office now uses GoMyWay through him. We had users who were always available to share amazing ideas with us. It’s no surprise that the second highest acquisition channel was referrals/word of mouth.
It does break our hearts to end this wonderful community and we did try to keep it going, but the team has decided to keep the platform running till the end of October. From today, the signup page will no longer be accessible and customer support would also be winding down.
I’m so proud of everyone that worked on GoMyWay. The business was blessed to have the most dedicated and hardworking staff who put in more than their time into this. Some of our users have come in contact with our staff, so they know I am not exaggerating. Thank you Yinka, Favour, Segun, Ope, Ayo, Busayo, Doyin and all the contract staff and interns that worked with us. God bless you immensely.
Lastly, I felt it would be unfair to leave you and other users hanging with no alternative; so, if you are resident in Lagos and in need of an affordable ride to/from work, please check out the guys at Shuttlers who run an affordable shuttle service for professionals. If interested, fill out their form.
Thank you very much; and please feel free to reply this email if you would like to reach me. I will try to reply to as many as possible.”
The platform allowed users to earn little amounts from co-travelers to cover travel expenses. It also created opportunities for making friends and starting potential business partnerships. Moreover, it afforded cheaper intra and inter-state movement.
Over the past two years that GoMyWay has been providing ridesharing services to Nigerians, its customer-base had grown to more than 12,000. That is a clear indication that there is potential in the interstate ridesharing niche. With a total of 106,630 rides over those two years, GoMyWay actually averaged 146 rides per day. That is quite a feat by industry standard.
Why was GoMyWay founded in the first place?
Investors like Konga founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Sim Shagaya, former Amazon and Naspers executive Bill Paladino and Damilola Teidi, who is also the founder of GoMyWay, recognized the big transportation challenges of inefficiency and inconvenience prevalent in “Africa”. They took advantage and were succeeding, or so we thought.
We do not see a lot of competition in the ridesharing space in interstate commuting in the country. With Uber and Taxify tussling over the ride sharing space inside major cities, GoMyWay had the potential to actually take over the ridesharing space all over the country, with rider verification of course for the security people are so concerned about.
This service was aimed at solving a problem in Africa but did not get past Nigeria despite the recorded growth in the second year of existence. That leaves one wondering.
Why did funding stop? Why profit making or basic sustenance was not put into consideration at the onset; is it not the lifeblood of every business? What is the replacement for this startup? Does this give bootstrapping an edge over investor funding?
I have always been a fan of bootstrapping a startup.
GoMyWay will keep running till end of October 2017 when the sign up pages and customer support will be removed.
Featured Image Credit: Guardian Nigeria
Chiamaka Akuba33 Posts
Chiamaka Akuba is a graduate of Mass Communication of the University of Lagos, Nigeria. She is passionate about emerging markets and entrepreneurship and is actively working with the industry. She loves her conversations challenging and can’t help laughing when you call her ‘Honourable Writer of the Federal Republic'. Chiamaka is a Staff Writer at Outrepreneurs.