Tech entrepreneur and the CEO of the former bike-hailing app, Gokada was found dead in his New York apartment on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.
Born in Saudi Arabia to Bangladeshi parents, Fahim taught himself to code at a young age. He created his first company, PrankDial, while in high school. Upon graduation, he co-founded Pantho, a $100 million ride company which was popular in Bangladesh and Nepal, in 2015.
Leveraging on his success with his logistic company, Pathao, Fahim was on a lookout to recreate the model in another country which led him to Nigeria. Speaking on Startup Lagos show, From Disruption to Collaboration, Fahim talked extensively on how his honesty and passion for impact helped build his network in the Nigerian entrepreneurship space after his LinkedIn post about looking for co-founders went viral with over 200 comments from Nigerians.
Through this post, Fahim met Deji Oduntan, a seasoned product strategist and manager in Nigeria with whom he co-founded Gokada. Gokada raised $10.6 million in funding after four rounds and was on track to break even by January 2020 before the government ban which restricted motorbikes from plying six major commercial areas out of 21 local governments areas in Lagos. The company pivoted into B2B logistics and delivery services and has secured partnership with companies like Jumia Foods.
Gokada released a statement in honour of its founder:
“The Gokada team is deeply saddened to have learned of the tragic passing of founder and CEO, Fahim Saleh in New York, earlier this week.
A leader, innovator and inspiration, Fahim’s passion for Nigeria and its youth was immeasurable. He believed that technology could transform lives and improve safety and efficiency. He built Gokada to act upon these beliefs.
Under Fahim’s leadership, Gokada has grown to become Nigeria’s leading fully integrated delivery and logistics company, with outstanding growth and profitability metrics. Gokada has been built with a strong and resilient workforce that has navigated and transitioned through challenges while keeping to its core values.
Gokada is committed to the well being of all of its employees, and believe it is important to take this time to support members of the team, as they pull through a devastating loss.
We kindly request for privacy for his family and friends at this time.
Fahim will be missed by everyone at Gokada and the entire Nigerian startup community.