Tech investor and founder of Nigerian startup Gokada, was found dead and dismembered in his New York apartment in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
Fahim Saleh, 34, decapitated body was found by local police after his cousin asked for a wellness check on him. Body parts were found in plastic bags and an electric saw was also reportedly found in the apartment that Saleh purchased last year for $2.25 million
Until his death, Saleh led Gokada since founding the Lagos-based company in 2018. With a premise of providing on-demand, flexible transport service to get around the city’s hours-long traffic jams and congestion, Gokada soon became one of the most prominent bike-hailing startups on the scene. The company raised $5.6 million dollars from investors including Rise Capital, Adventure Capital, IC Global Partners and First MidWest Group.
The company increasingly faced regulatory problems as local authorities initially proposed pricey annual licensing fees in addition to state-sanctioned levies to local transport unions before eventually banning motorcyle-hailing companies in January citing security and safety concerns. The decision saw Saleh release a series of videos protesting the ban in the hope of getting the government to revise the ban.
In one emotional video he described Gokada as growing a “beautiful community”. “It was really something that moved me to the point where I was okay putting all my money and all my effort in. Gokada is not just a business to me, it’s a mission.”
His efforts ultimately proved futile as Gokada though was soon forced to lay off a majority of its staff in the aftermath of the ban. Like some other bike-hailing startups in the space, Gokada soon pivoted to delivery and logistics.