Fahim Saleh is the founder and CEO of Gokada. Backed by extensive experience in running logistics and bike hailing services known as Pathao, he came up with a disruptive idea to establish a motorbike hailing company in Lagos, Nigeria. To strengthen his business with innovative technology, he contracted Brocoders to build a ride-sharing solution. That’s where our partnership story begins.
It is widely known that the African cities are densely populated, so it’s no wonder there are huge problems with traffic jams out there. Thankfully, best international practices demonstrate that a motorcycle vehicle might be a silver bullet for solving the issues caused by heavy traffic.
That said, Fahim Saleh partnered up with our team to put his ideas into practice and create a feature-rich application that could revolutionize the bike hailing sector in Lagos.
As a pathfinder in delivering a ride-sharing innovation in Nigeria, Fahim came to us with a working MVP that was developed by another IT company in order to check whether his business concept was viable and was in demand in the first place.
Based on the target audiences’ feedback to rebuild and enhance the MVP, Fahim visited our office with his team to combine our forces and design a state-of-the-art solution that can meet all the end-users’ requirements and needs. He shared his vision of the final product and provided us with some preliminary drafts and mockups so we could get an insight into a project.
To cover all details and acquire invaluable info, we started from workshops with the client, which, in turn, inspired our experts and significantly boosted the entire workflow. We worked in close collaboration with the Gokada professionals and split the tasks between our teams to enable a higher development speed.
Cross-platform mobile app for both drivers and passengers
Among other crucial challenges set before us by the client, we had to update a general logic of the app to ensure a smooth and hassle-free development process, as well as reinvent the entire project’s design to provide an outstanding user experience.
Once we filled in the blanks and came up with a further strategy, we set up a team of the following on-site specialists: one backend developer, two React Native developers, a QA engineer and a project manager. Later, we had to empower our team with additional experts since the project was rapidly evolving, and we should deal with a greater scope of tasks. Eventually, our team was comprised of:
The previous projects were built on a separate basis, so we decided to develop a single cross-platform mobile app for both drivers and passengers at the same time. Such an approach allowed for implementing new features and updating the platform in a fast and simplified manner for both Android and iOS, as well as for all parties in one go.
We also had to create a multi-functioning admin panel and integrate it with a working platform driven by the client’s feedback and shared drafts. Based on our in-depth research of the project, we made the list of all features that an admin panel must include and prepared a few high-fidelity prototypes to showcase the work done. In fact, it was the most vital task to accomplish in the first place since it provided the means for our client to:
- Manage and control all processes and involved parties (drivers and users)
- Acquire insights into user behavior patterns (ride requests and cancellations)
- Track transactions
- Provide easy-to-use tools for managers
- Monitor real-time status and statistics on drivers
- Understand a load of available resources at any time
- Gather invaluable info for making the right business decisions
- View the history of rides
Since there was an existing admin panel, we didn’t have to create a new custom-designed version from scratch, which allowed us to reduce the development time and concentrate more on other important tasks during the first stages.
Another challenge to take care of was the choice of a mapping service that can fit our platform best.
Since the primary flow was deeply connected to a location data function, it was crucial to pick the one that had cost-effective payment plans so that we could reduce expenses related to GPS tracking and data location features. A Google Map Service API was too expensive to afford for all internal processes, so we tried a few different mapping services to find out which is the most appropriate. We compared OpenStreet maps and Mapbox to Google maps based on the data we worked with - distance and duration. Mapbox turned up to be a decent option in certain circumstances, so we decided to utilize the combination of two mapping services for a different scope of application.
Integrating Paystack payment system
We faced a similar issue when it came to the local payment systems. We needed to integrate the app with a platform that supported the local African payment methods, including a cashless settlement.
Unfortunately, most of the local payment systems lacked the required functionality and compatibility. Nevertheless, we managed to find and implement a working solution that had robust functionality and could fit our specific requirements - a Paystack payment system.
Thanks to our seasoned specialists and extensive software development expertise, we successfully faced up to the challenges and did create a bike hailing platform that met all the customer’s expectations.
We renovated an underlying logic of the flow, as well as built a whole new app design to ensure the end-users could enjoy a captivating and user-friendly interface. Drivers, passengers and the Gokada team members ended up with intuitive and easy-to-use dashboards that provided trouble-free navigation across all elements and free access to all key functionalities.
Here are some of the core features that users could benefit from:
- Passengers could quickly request an available ride based on a driver’s profile and get a fair cost calculation.
- All users could see their trips history, while the admins gathered info on all requested and canceled rides.
- Drivers could promptly make a ride request with just a few clicks and share their trips with others in real-time.
- All users could enjoy a cashless payment system benefits that made any journey way comfier for any party.
- We implemented GPS-driven maps and geo-location features to enable optimal routes to the destination points while avoiding traffic jams.
- The Gokada team ended up with enhanced business management thanks to an admin panel that allowed for acquiring in-depth insights, monitoring vital stats, such as the details of trips and users, and more.
The first product release was executed at the beginning of 2019. In fact, the platform already had some active drivers that were eager to start accepting customers’ requests.
During that period, we worked closely with the drivers’ and users’ feedback to analyze which features or updates should be included in the next versions. All the further updates allowed us to increase the amount of daily requested rides by 2,5 times during the first six months. Meanwhile, the total amount of daily canceled rides was decreased in half during this period, and one more time during the next six months.
At the end of the year, we ended up with some fascinating outcomes:
- ride requests in total
- of which were completed by the assigned 1000+ drivers
- Series A round
Needless to say, such remarkable results inspired our team to put the shoulder to the wheel. Based on gathered data, we managed to find and fix critical bottlenecks, while preventing their harmful impact on the further development stages.
Our team kept working closely with the Gokada’s managers and their feedback after the release date. Our goal was to make the admin panel more optimized and simplified so managers could effectively solve basic operational tasks and provide quick support to all app users.
We also had a few scheduled projects, such as an improvement of the payment system and an integration of the recruitment add-on module that was mainly focused on converting leads into drivers. That said, drivers could go through online tutorials and other training materials, pass a test and get a driver’s license in a short time.
Unfortunately, the Lagos government implemented the ban on passenger motorcycles in February, so Gokada had to pivot the entire business to a delivery service. That’s where our fruitful mutual collaboration has ended, thus excluding the possibility of accomplishing all the remaining goals.