Friday, July 17, 2020

Gokada founder Fahim Saleh died of multiple stab wounds, medical examiner says

Fahim Salem, founder and CEO of Gokada, died of multiple stab wounds, New York City's medical examiner said on Thursday.

Saleh, 33, was found dead in his Manhattan's Lower East Side apartment earlier this week with his body dismembered.

An autopsy by the city's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled that Saleh died as a result of stab wounds to the neck and torso and found his manner of death to be homicide, a spokesperson told CNN.

Authorities are still investigating Saleh's death. He was last seen in surveillance video getting into an elevator in his apartment building and a man dressed in all black -- who police believe is Saleh's assailant -- entering the elevator with him, according to the law enforcement official.


The elevator in Saleh's building goes straight into the apartment units there, the source said.

Saleh was the founder and CEO of Gokada, a motorbike-hailing app in Nigeria. His family described him as a "brilliant and innovative mind" in a statement confirming his death.

"The headlines talk about a crime we still cannot fathom," the statement said.

"Fahim is more than what you are reading. He is so much more. His brilliant and innovative mind took everyone who was a part of his world on a journey and he made sure never to leave anyone behind.

"There are no words or actions to provide any of us comfort except the capture of the person who exhibited nothing short of evil upon our loved one."

As a high schooler, Saleh founded PrankDial.com, a website for prerecorded prank phone calls that, he wrote in 2018, had generated over $10 million since its start. He continued to build and sell sites throughout his teens and his time at Bentley University.

Most recently, he founded the venture capital firm Adventure Capital, which invested in ride-sharing start-ups in countries like Bangladesh and Colombia.

On Medium, where he blogged regularly, he called his founding of Gokada "one of the most out there things" he'd ever done. His limited knowledge of Nigeria's transportation system at first turned off Nigerians he tried to recruit for his start-up.

In 2019, Gokada raised $5.3 million in seed funding and hired over 800 drivers, but Gokada's business hit an unexpected drawback in February when Lagos state banned commercial motorcycles in the city.

Saleh filmed a plea on behalf of his employees to lift the ban as the company pivoted to delivery and was working toward launching a boat hailing service, he told CNN in February.

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