Moovn, a black-owned ride-sharing app, may profit from Uber’s stumble
Godwin Gabriel is the CEO of Moovn.
February 8, 2017
Move over, Uber and Lyft. There’s a new ride-sharing app in town.
Moovn, the black-owned, ride-sharing app that allows you to hail a ride immediately or pre-schedule one to your destination, was launched in 2015 and became a topic of conversation during a chaotic taxi strike at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York in late January. As taxi drivers protested President Donald Trump’s travel ban, which temporarily barred visa and green card holders traveling from several majority Muslim countries, Uber continued to pick up customers, angering those who opposed the ban.
Opponents of the ban were also unhappy that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick served on Trump’s business advisory council. The backlash immediately took off on social media through the hashtag #DeleteUber, ultimately leading to Kalanick’s decision to leave the business council.
Several tweets encouraged people to look into Moovn as their new ride-sharing app of choice.
black owned ride sharing company, for those looking for an alternative to uber! Hey @moovn
The app works as any other ride-sharing app, allowing the passenger to schedule or pre-schedule a ride up to a month in advance. The fees, which are generally lower than that of a taxi ride, are all paid through the app.
Although the multibillion-dollar ride-sharing industry is a risky one to enter, Moovn’s founder and CEO Godwin Gabriel is now operating in 12 locations — Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Boston; Portland, Oregon; Seattle; San Francisco; New York; and abroad in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Vancouver, British Columbia; Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania; Johannesburg, South Africa, and Nairobi, Kenya. Three other locations are being developed.
Godwin, who hails from Tanzania, left his birth country in pursuit of better opportunities. He taught himself to code and experimented with different aspects within the industry before dedicating his time to the app. “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,” Godwin said in an interview with UrbanGeekz.
After learning about the travel ban and its impact on those who were immigrants like himself, Godwin posted a letter to Twitter standing with those who were suffering.
My story as an Immigrant in America -Godwin N. Gabriel, Chief Executive @unogodwin
“In light of the recent travel ban directed toward some refugees and immigrants, our U.S. driver partners — most of whom are immigrants — have also reaffirmed my commitment to get our story out that this nation had provided many of us a wealth of opportunities, which have enabled us to realize our entrepreneurial dreams,” Godwin said in the letter. “We believe we are American, in every definition of the word. We also know as Americans, you raise one hand up to grab whatever opportunity is being given to you, while extending the other hand to pull up those who need it.”
Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.