Tech

West African Transport Startup Gozem Onboards Othmane Bouhlal of Chuaffeur-Privé

Othmane Bouhlal, the co-founder of French startup and one of Europe’s biggest transport firms – Chauffeur-Privéhas become a strategic advisor to Gozem, a West African ride-hailing company. The information was made public Thursday after an agreement was reached in Paris.

Bouhlal is widely known for successfully growing Chauffeur-Privé, a ride-hailing company founded in 2011 and later acquired by German automotive giant Daimler in 2017. The company was rebranded to Kapten in 2019 and then merged with Free Now in 2020.

His arrival on the Advisory Board comes as Gozem prepares to enter eight new markets in French-speaking countries across West and Central Africa, in line with its ambition to become the leading digital startup in francophone Africa. The uber-like company currently operates in Togo and Benin.

The strategic advisors are meant to assist Gozem in its trajectory of growth, operational improvements, and upscaling. The firm is also expanding its offering and recently started offering on-demand transport, e-commerce, delivery, fintech, and healthcare services via a Super App it launched last year.

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Last December, Gozem partnered with Asia Africa Investment & Consulting (AAIC), the investment manager for Africa Healthcare Fund, to launch a new health-based service that will enable access to healthcare for Africans in the francophone sub-Saharan region via the app

Gozem bike riders.
Gozem motorcycle riders.

For the Lomé-based startup, the main challenge is to “multiply by 100 the number of our customers in the next three years while preserving an excellent service,” Gozem co-founder Gregory Costamagna said.

Bouhlal’s presence on the advisory board is expected to enable a fast-track learning path for Gozem’s management team, while the entire organisation benefits from his experience, best practices, and valuable insight. 

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“It is an honor for us to welcome Othmane’s commitment as an advisor in the company. His knowledge and experience in executing a world-class mobility startup will be priceless for Gozem and will move the company to the next level,” the co-founder added.

Gozem was launched in Togo in November 2018 on the back of raising $900,000 in funding, after which it swiftly expanded to Benin and added to its transport offering auto-rickshaws. As part of its expansion drive, it acquired Togo’s leading food delivery app Delivroum last October.

“Their goal is ambitious and I will support them to my best ability throughout their evolution towards it,” Bouhlal said on his appointment. “I’m pleased and excited to join the Gozem family who has shown incredible traction in their journey to become Africa’s number one Super App.”

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