Black Entrepreneur Creates Ride-Sharing App

‘Moovn,’ the new ride-sharing app designed by a Black entrepreneur, Godwin Gabriel is said to fiercely compete with Uber and Lyft.

Godwin Gabriel is looking to move in on the ride-sharing tech business with an app called Moovn, which he hopes will be able to compete with Uber and Lyft on a national and even international scale, reported by The Grio.

Currently, Gabriel’s app operates in six U.S. cities: Washington, DC, Chicago, IL, Boston, MA, Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, San Francisco, CA, New York, NY. Moovn also operates in Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania.

The Black entrepreneur, Gabriel taught himself to code, and by his own admission, his initial launch app was “amateurish at best,” but he has since transformed the platform and has high hopes for it.

It wasn’t until we received investor backing that I was able to hire and collaborate with a team of seasoned developers to transform the platform into what we have today,” he explained.

He then added, “The market, for the most part, is currently being dominated by Uber and Lyft with these companies enjoying the benefits of having first mover advantage with the transportation technology space. However, we’re confident that the global market remains sizable enough for all of us to fit in and play.”

Considering the rise of smartphone usage across the continent of Africa, operating there seems to be a good business strategy, Black Main Street states. It’s also a market that hasn’t been explored by the big brands in the industry.

Moovn differentiates itself from other ride-sharing applications, by allowing the user to pre-schedule trips up to a month in advance, unlike most apps that only allow immediate requests for service. It also allows users to select different vehicle options depending upon local modes of transportation, such as motorcycles and tricycles in developing economies. Other unique features Moovn offers is the option to move products and services between the marketplace and the consumer.

When asked what his biggest challenges are, he says, “The market, for the most part, is currently being dominated by Uber and Lyft with these companies enjoying the benefits of having first mover advantage with the transportation technology space,” according to the Urban Geeks. “However, we’re confident that the global market remains sizable enough for all of us to fit in and play.”

In fact, operating in Africa has been a smart business strategy, particularly with the rise smartphone usage across the continent. It is also a chance to do business in markets that hadn’t been explored by big name brands. “I believe Moovn is changing lives – particularly in Africa and developing markets,” he says. “For instance, drivers earn more on our platform, are reducing idle time and are able to provide and build their communities.”

The Black entrepreneur has an impressive track record climbing the ranks of corporate America. He also has an MBA from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. Stepping out in faith as a tech entrepreneur, he quickly realized that he had to differentiate his brand to create a competitive transportation technology platform.

Moovn sets itself apart from most ride-sharing applications because it allows the rider to pre-schedule trips up to a month in advance, instead of only being able to request one for immediate service. It also allows different vehicle options depending upon local modes of transportation, such as motorcycles and tricycles in developing economies. Other unique features include the movement of products and services from the marketplace to the consumer and the ability to enable businesses to keep track of their transport logistics.

Coming from a non-technical business background, Gabriel bootstrapped his startup with a burning desire to uplift developing nations. Still, utilizing mobile technology in these regions means inevitable obstacles that his team has had to overcome.

He explains, “Technology usage is more prevalent and mature in the U.S. than in Africa, not to mention these continents have incomparable rates of overall smartphone usage. Another challenge is adoption by the African consumer takes much longer in terms of educating them about the benefits of using such a platform compared to their US counterparts.

Having a CEO of African descent gives this utility a major competitive advantage in those untapped regions. Gabriel, who has resided in the Unites States for about two decades, admits his heritage is what has a plus for  investors. “Operating a business in Africa requires in-depth knowledge of the marketplace, language, cultural dynamics, socio-political influence and so forth.”

He summarizes his vision for Moovn by stating, “I believe technology consumption in Africa is growing rapidly year over year and therefore presents us with tons of growth opportunities to continue our expansion and operations within that continent.” He continues, “All-in-all, there are so many business models that can be built upon this platform but our grand vision is to become the Amazon of Africa.”

Those are certainly lofty goals, however, with Gabriel’s drive and determination with the support of approximately 50 employees worldwide, Moovn is looking to become a major player in ride-sharing around the world. He offers inspiring entrepreneurs these words of encouragement:

The journey to success is not easy, but keep the faith. Believe in what inspired you to become an entrepreneur in the first place and let this inspiration fuel your everyday hustle.”

Gabriel also revealed to UrbanGeekz that Moovn will be launching in Vancouver, BC within the next few weeks and they are also aggressively planning to expand into 20 cities across the globe between January and March of 2017.

We welcome a great innovation from this talented Black entrepreneur. Now African-Americans do not have to wait at the mercy of some racist drivers before they gain access to a ride. This is made by Blacks and for Blacks. We all need to patronise this service and support black-owned businesses. As for Uber and Lyft, maybe the loss of money will force the owners of the companies to address the problem of racial bias as it has already happened to Airbnb.

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