There are many various interpretations of Lagos, the economically significant and densely populated city in Nigeria that is home to nearly 24 million people. Lagos represents urban overpopulation for the ordinary Lagosian, who spends 10 hours daily stuck in traffic. However, companies in the mobility industry can disagree or provide a different view of the city, describing it as a prime market with a reachable audience of tens of millions.
This may be why Uber and Bolt, two of the largest ride-hailing companies, have been fighting for supremacy in the West African metropolis. A relatively young, government-backed service called Lagos Ride (Lagride) is gaining traction and setting itself to be the underdog of ride-hailing in Africa’s most populated city, even though they are still in pricing wars and competing with new goods. Lagride was created by the government of Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who announced it in 2021 as a replacement for the dilapidated yellow and black taxis dispersed throughout the city. The Lagos State administration, through its officials, made statements such as, “Lagos is a megacity, and you cannot create a megacity on two-wheelers,” after the abrupt ban on bike-hailing services in February 2020.
Building up on this idea, the government released the Lagride brand of four-wheelers onto the market the following year. The Choice International Group, the distributor of GAC motors in Nigeria, assembles the vehicles for the Lagride project in Lagos. The sleek and contemporary SUV designs of Lagride cars perfectly complement the government’s vision of Lagos as a megacity. The way the service is settling into a perfect spot in Lagos’ ride-hailing ecology, though, is more remarkable.
Getting inside the Lagos market
As consumers become more aware of the cost differences of travelling about due to rising inflation and harsh economic realities, Lagride is capitalising on this trend by optimising for the affordability that larger competitors are aiming to accomplish through their price wars.
Thousands of Lagosians went on recreation binges in December 2022 as they toured the city during its liveliest time, buoyed by the Christmas mood. However, it did not take long for many “outsiders” to declare they would spend Christmas inside. In a now-deleted tweet, a Bolt user suggested that the company come out armed and mug us rather than commit this open-air heist.
However, the issue affected more than just a specific ride-hailing service. There was a severe fuel shortage at the time, with Nigeria being Africa’s most significant oil producer. Additionally, with a lack of supply, fuel prices shot up to new, uncontrolled heights, using commuters as the test subjects.
Despite this, less well-known car-hailing businesses like Rida, inDrive, and Lagride—all of which are strong competitors for the third dominant spot in Nigeria’s ride-hailing market—were still able to offer prices that were comparably lower than those of UberX and Bolt primarily due to their lower commission rates. In addition to competitive pricing, Lagride’s ride-hailing product’s superior innovation is to thank for the company’s rising market appeal. Mobility solutions that ensure user safety are more alluring to users because Lagos leads the nation in terms of the frequency and prevalence of crime.
In Lagos, ride-hailing services are frequently risky. The internet is rife with gory accounts of passengers being abducted, drivers going missing, and users being murdered. Lagride’s standby monitoring system decreases the likelihood of such incidents by gathering and transmitting real-time audio and visual data. All of this data is coupled to a system that may instantly inform local authorities in the event of anticipated danger. The unique KYC procedure used by Lagride’s driver training model assures that every driver on the platform has been thoroughly verified, significantly lowering the prevalence of rogue drivers.
Local options, global perspective
When Tumi Adeyemi, CEO of Zenolynk Nig Ltd, was named one of the winners of a regional hackathon in 2019, Lagride’s crystal ball must have gleamed brightly. The Eko Innovation Centre organised the hackathon with the Office of the Special Adviser, Innovation and Technology, Lagos State. The event’s first call for submissions asked business owners to offer ideas for using technology to address Lagos’ traffic issues.
Adeyemi applied and used his business expertise in intelligent mobility to secure a position that would eventually enable his organisation, Zenolynk, to become the driving force behind Lagride’s technology.
The government-backed ride-hailing service improved upon the technological norms set by industry heavyweights like Uber and Bolt. The built-in telematics technologies in Lagride cars ensure that drivers keep smooth driving; ongoing surveillance and tracking ensure that the whereabouts of cars are always easily accessible; and, in the event of a carjacking or robbery, the cars can be remotely controlled or shut off. Lagride is a typical example of tailoring a worldwide solution to the specifics of a local market based on these technological features incorporated into the car fleet.
The innovation behind Lagride, according to Zenolynk CEO Adeyemi, “These value propositions are what made us the effective and successful to operate and manage Lagride. We are not just copying existing models, either. Due to our extensive experience in this field, we can identify the customers’ problems and provide specialised solutions. As a result, individuals now feel more comfortable commuting on Lagride.
Rescuing Lagos residents from poverty
When the ride-hailing industry is combined with vehicle financing, the result is Lagride. In the end, the government-backed service is assisting in lowering the entry barrier for mobility entrepreneurs. Many of these individuals could not have pictured themselves as future owners of brand-new automobiles before working with Lagride. “These Lagride drivers are now in a better situation. They can manage their finances and help their families escape poverty. We are helping individuals get out of despair and, in essence, making promises to make sure they are successful and self-sufficient, Adeyemi added.
Adeyemi is confident that Lagride will surpass the competition to become the third most crucial player in Lagos’ ride-hailing ecosystem in a few years. The tenacious businessman thinks Lagride’s enhanced value propositions would enable it to surpass Uber and Bolt, two of its biggest rivals, shortly.
In Lagos, the most populous city in Africa, we are steadily positioning Lagride to become the top ride-hailing service in terms of everything from cost and comfort to security and driver availability, says Adeyemi.