Fahim Saleh on Gokada’s challenges and potentials against the odds
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Let’s dive into today’s tech news from around Africa!


Medplus – A wholesale & retail pharmacy that not only sells locally manufactured & imported drugs but also your everyday essentials. Now you can order your COVID-19 essentials & have it delivered to you in one click.

Schools have been shut for more than eight weeks in Lagos, Nigeria’s coronavirus epicenter. The city’s disease curve has refused to flatten, even after a five-week lockdown. For learning institutions and for students who can, learning has continued online on various platforms and via different digital tools.

But without children being physically present in their classrooms, parents are also having to step in as co-teachers often having to take some lessons further  offline, ensuring that the classes happen in the first place and that their children are as attentive to them when they do happen.

Alex Onukwue spoke to a number of parents about their co-teaching experiences this period especially as they also juggle working regular 9-5s from home.


Cape Town based insurtech startup CompariSure has secured venture capital funding from Umkhathi Wethu Ventures in partnership with Allan Gray.

The deal comes off the back of CompariSure’s first external investment deal concluded in August last year with SA VC company 4Di Capital. The details of the latest investment, as well as that of the 4Di Capital investment, were not

Founded in 2017, the startup distributes financial service products via its proprietary chatbot technology that leverages platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Recently, the company has begun licensing its chatbot technology to insurance providers looking to improve their digital capabilities.

The new funding will be targeted at developing new products and industry use-cases for its chatbot, as well as exploring opportunities outside of South Africa.

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Virtual pitch competition The Nest has, since April, helped startups raise over US$135,000 in commitments after pitching their businesses to a live audience of angel investors. The Nest is sponsored and hosted by UNTAPPED, a global tech-for-good company founded by Jim Chu.

The latest
winners in the live pitch event is Egyptian startup Interact Labs, a hardware and software company which develops solutions that enhance collaboration. Interact Labs has secured funding commitments worth US$60,000 following the pitch contest.

Past winners include Senegalese logistics startup Yobanté Express (up to US$100,000), Kenyan motorcycle insurance solution RideSafe (US$20,000) and Kenya’s InsectiPro (US$25,000). Others include Ilara Health from Kenya, Digitech from Ivory Coast and Teliman from Mali.


Applications are open till May 31 for the Southern African Innovation Support Programme’s (SAIS) Boost Up 2020 initiative. The programme is targeted at startups leveraging technology to create social impact businesses in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and/or

Before launching Gokada in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, founder Fahim Saleh had built a successful logistics and bike hailing business Pathao in his home country, Bangladesh. Bike hailing had never been tried in Lagos. But existing transport laws banned motorcycles below 200cc from operating on over 400 major roads. Saleh thought he found a way around the law.

He acquired 200cc bikes, signed up drivers who were willing to own the bikes over time through a hire purchase plan and kicked off business. Until a bike ban sent the business tumbling. The fall had been particularly rough because prior to this time Saleh had paused
the business for two weeks in august 2019, and spent an estimated $2.25 million on new bikes and helmets in a bid to revamp its services.

In this piece, Abubakar Idris speaks extensively with Saleh about the successes of Pathao in Bangladesh and how much of the adapting Gokada has done since the ban has been borne out of a study faith in Gokada and its ability to succeed in the Lagos market against all odds.

That’s all for today,

Have a good week and stay safe!
– Kay

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