In this video, CanGo CEO and cofounder Barrett Nash describes why sometimes concepts around scalability means that startups can (not always should) make losses before profits.
CanGo cofounders Barrett Nash and Peter Kariuki write in the Guardian that massive demographic change in Africa is giving entrepreneurial companies seeking a challenge the chance to thrive. Kinshasha-based CanGo, a ride-hailing app service, is leading the way.
Read the oped here
Note CanGo was SafeMotos before rebranding in Q2 2019.
CanGo is actively working to build the superapp for Central Africa. To do this we are being focused on day to day execution, but working towards a greater strategic direction. This ‘Top of the Mountain’ post is the internal document that is the direction to which the company is heading.
Phase 1: Building a Transportation Logistics Backbone in Kinshasa
This is the current stage that CanGo is at and is the most important stage as it sets the foundation for future opportunity for the company. The focus is going to be on developing a track record of wins, developing an efficient high quality motorcycle logistics platform in Kinshasa and getting the metrics of growth, retention, customer acquisition cost and unit economics to be on track and moving in the right direction.
Note that this is a summarized version of Phase 1, with additional details available on request.
Phase 2: Bringing Additional Services to Market
This phase is about following market leaders like Uber, GoJek and Rapii in bringing additional services to market. The new services brought to market will make use of CanGo investments into network of drivers and investments in user base. These new services will create new revenue streams and more value to customers. The story of this phase will be a key part of a next funding raise with execution coming post additional funding.
Rapii / GoJek Style Services
These are services that:
- Have been released in other parts of the world by existing on demand companies (eg Rapii, GoJek, Uber)
- Bring additional value and reason to use the app for existing / new users
- Open up new revenue streams
- Create a more defensible competitive landscape as the CanGo product becomes differentiated from potential new market entrants
- Creates additional trips for drivers, bringing drivers more value while making a more efficient logistics network
Services could include:
- Food delivery to home on demand
- Food delivery to bars / restaurants on demand
- Supermarket (food / alcohol) services on demand
- Restock stores on demand
- Amazon style online store on demand
- Scheduled garbage / recycling collection on demand
- ATM on demand
Developing a Services Marketplace
CanGo management has the vision of creating a diverse labor marketplace on demand, where professionals providing the sort of breadth of services that could be found in the Yellow Pages are able to advertise their services to the CanGo app user base, then use CanGo transportation service to bring service provider and customer together.
In the existing marketplace of undifferentiated low skilled service providers, we believe this represents a paradigm shift where it will create the incentives for service providers to develop and differentiate their skill set, while customers are able to get access to a large marketplace of services.
The company we are most closely following on this is Lynk in Nairobi, but we believe there is no clear market leader who has built a service the way we envision it.
Examples from user research of potential services that could be provided by third party’s via our marketplace:
- TV / Refrigerator / etc repair
- On demand security
- Wedding / celebration activities
- Plumber / electrician
SWVL / Uber Van
A clear need for CanGo to meet its mission and to be successful in the African market place is to find a way to be as affordable to end users as possible. To do this, CanGo is very influenced by SWVL / Uber Van, a system that allows private companies to operate private bus routes where users can order their seat by smartphone app or USSD. In Kinshasa, with a dysfunctional mass transit system, a customer centric bus company is sorely needed, while doing multimodal functionality between buses with CanGo motorcycle trips as a last mile pickup / drop off will be a way to open up the city to an entirely new income bracket.
Right now, there is no dominant player in the mobile money / digital payments sector in Rwanda or the DRC, with users by and large preferring cash.
CanGo believes that its suite of services and user base will give it a clear advantage is introducing digital payments to users, allowing a new way to lock users in, provide value to users and open future business opportunities.
For CanGo to maximize impact it needs to scale rapidly once it achieves product market fit and the management team nails an execution model. We believe that the market is still wide open in Africa, with Central Africa in particular being underserved by access to technology companies in general. Likely next targets could include: Luanda, Brazzaville, Lubumbashi and Goma.
Phase 3: AI Fuelled Scaling
Once CanGo achieves a differentiated set of products in a few African market places, then it’s time to ramp up scaling as quickly as possible to leverage our learnings before bigger companies come to eat CanGo lunch. Here, we believe the secret is extremely set automated processes powered by machine learning / artificial intelligence where extremely lean teams in market with the support of set processes can launch CanGo as a ‘business in a box’ in new markets. Here, we are most excited by the emerging cities of Africa, those cities of 500,000 – 1,000,000 people that no one is currently looking at that CanGo can seek to lock into our ecosystem for the long term, as we become an essential layer for the evolution of African cities.
In this video, CanGo CEO and cofounder Barrett Nash explains CanGo’s strategy for growth hacking the CanGo superapp in Kinshasa.
In this video CanGo CEO and cofounder Barrett Nash explains how venture capital works and why Venture Capitalists have chosen to fund CanGo.
CanGo cofounder and CEO Barrett Nash explains what a startup is and if CanGo, a DRC based superapp active in Kinshasa, is a startup. This talk was for CanGo employees in Kinshasa, Kigali and Nairobi.