Quick background: Go My Way is the ride sharing application with backing from tech heavyweights; Konga’s CEO, Sim Shagaya, CcHub and ex-Amazon executive, Bill Paladino.
Unlike Jekalo, a similar service which piloted for intra-city daily commute in Lagos few weeks before, GoMyWay is focused on city to city transport.
Damilola Teidi is the front-man for the Go My Way founding management. She tells TechCabal about what Go My Way is really out to do.
TechCabal: We understand why ridesharing is interesting, but why did you decide it was interesting enough to pursue?
Damilola Teidi: There’s a big transportation problem in Africa worth finding a solution to. Our transportation system is unreliable and not convenient amongst other things we already know. There’s also no functioning rail network system in many countries in the region. What we have seen so far, taking Nigeria as an example, is whenever there’s a tweak to make transportation better , it becomes expensive.
Then, there is the traffic situation especially in metropolitan cities; too many cars on the road and lots of them with one person driving and empty seats. Like someone said “ It is ecological and economical nonsense”. Ride-sharing is the perfect solution for these problems; it just makes sense. Yesterday, we had a ride offer on the site from Sabo to Elegushi for N500/passenger from someone with a Honda Accord that has air conditioning. It is truly amazing and the journey to making this mainstream should be exciting.
We like to say “we are building the new African rail network.. except we are doing it on roads” and we believe it.
Deploying via campuses is brilliant. Was the legwork to make that happen complex?
At the moment, most of the work to get students onboard is happening online but we are working on the offline part so you can ask this question again in a few weeks. However, the idea is not to see anything as complex.
Go My Way is positioning itself as nationwide right out the door. Is it accurate to assume that anyone, anywhere in Nigeria can use it then?
That’s absolutely accurate. Anyone can use GoMyWay from any part of the country. In fact, we hope to have more people use the platform for city-to-city trips than daily commutes.
What about security? I see the Facebook login, but the wider spread of the platform provides a much larger area of exposure? What are your thoughts on safety and inspiring trust in potential users of the platform?
We have put different verification levels in place including valid ID verification. The more verification you have done, the more likely it is that your request to join someone’s ride will be accepted or that other people will join your ride. We also have a support team to monitor activities on the platform. Of course as time goes on, we will continue to build on this.
Trust in an online marketplace like this will definitely grow as the community grows; when users start to engage with the platform and share rides, they will begin to see how convenient and safe it is.
We also have ratings and reviews so the community self regulates and this creates interpersonal trust. There’s also automated reviews in place. For example, if you delete your ride when you have bookings, you will get an automatic bad review.
The interesting thing is, ride sharing happens offline with no safety measures in place. You pass by certain roads in Lagos or at the tollgate (heading towards Ibadan) and you see people offering and joining rides. No verification done at all. Same thing when you flag a regular taxi on the road, no one verifies the driver. Same thing again when you get on a commercial bus or a Keke Napep , no one verifies your co-travelers. You just get on the bus like it is normal whilst hoping it is not “one chance”.
So let’s look at it this way – GoMyWay is bringing safety into something that already exists offline.
Bankole Oluwafemi contributed to this post