Hytch, a Nigerian logistics startup and ride-sharing platform that connects car owners and passengers going the same direction to help vehicle-pool to their destination has announced a total shutdown of all its operations with immediate effect due to what it termed as harsh economic conditions.
The startup in an announcement it made across its social media channels on February 2, 2023, wrote:
“It’s been a tough one, but we are shutting down operations finally. We would no longer be providing our services to businesses or individuals. We appreciate all our customers and well-wishers!”.
Hytch co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Laolu Onifade, told TechCabal, that harsh macro-economic conditions were the major reason for shutting down the business. “We couldn’t raise and couldn’t sustain the business with just the money we were making,” he said.
The brand Hytch was full of promise for the nine months it held sway in the market, performing dual functions of transporting humans and moving goods.
The company had in August 2022 ditched its initial carpooling mission and switched to helping businesses fulfil orders locally and internationally, and the latest setback has been blamed on lack of funding, as confirmed by Onifade.
Onifade and his team had always used every opportunity to affirm the lofty intention for the brand and this can be seen with what can be termed his unceasing obsession over the ride-hailing product on social media before it was launched,. He was able to build up eagle-eyed anticipation about Hytch that in the launch week alone, the business gathered about 600 users.
The startup PR was massive, with the brand serenading the public the benefits of its product offerings to their daily transport needs. It’s once tweeted that Hytch would take out danfo buses in Lagos, stating, “y’all would literally thank us for building this very soon.”
The sad reality is that after the brand with so much promise has finally had its growth going flat with its operations suspension and it’s not unconnected with the lesson that ride-hailing is built with deep pockets.
But it does appear that this won’t be the end of Hytch, as many industry analysts expected them to bounce back and relaunch the ride-haling platform for the benefit of Lagosians (who had to go through a torrid time with transport services0 and Nigerians as a whole.
Onifade and his partner, Co-founder Femi Omoniyi are still young men in their mid twenties and thus have a lot of energy in stock for a comeback.
But when and how is unknown.