Because of fear of fraud, marketplaces are not everyone’s favorite go-to place to buy or sell stuff but a group of three young entreprnuers want to change all that with their social marketplace, Opiid.com.
Founded in September 2013 and launched in beta February this year by Edom Stanley Nnamdi, a Computer Information systems graduate of Babcock University, Solaja Oluwagbenga Joseph, a Computer Information systems graduate of Babcock University and Owoade Dotun, a Computer Information systems graduate of Babcock University, Opiid.com is a social eCommerce platform giving users the ability to connect better with buyers and sellers, review or like products, contact buyers direct messages, make inquiries and even close transactions online with people they trust in a fun and easy way.
According to the Edom, the idea for Opiid came up during the summer break of his 3rd year at the university (2011).
“I wanted to purchase some items but couldn’t find them anywhere,” he says. ” So I figured an environment where you could ask for anything you need from everyone even if it wasn’t listed as important. When I got back to school for the final session, I tried to gather a couple of programmers together to work on my platform but they either did not understand me pretty well, didn’t believe the idea made any sense, or billed me way too high that I simply walked away.”
As a result of that, Edom decided to start learning programming so he could write the platform himself. Several months down the line, Opiid has 5 people running it, three as founding members, and two interns.
The Lagos-based marketplace is built on the principle that individuals and merchants can make far higher sales and purchases in an environment they’re most comfortable in. The platform promises to bring merchants closer to the customers and also up their customer service experience by opening up the platform to allow users to ask merchants questions on their products or just anything.
“We at opiid would prefer to grow at a defined systematic rate. A step after the other. Too much funding can kill a startup and also makes it ignore the most important things that users are most concerned about. As a result, been bootstrapped, we would prefer to grow at a rate that ensures that over the next 18 months. Edom says, adding, “Our social eCommerce startup would be the key player in the industry and would maintain it’s core value without losing sight of it’s initial vision, and would be highly accepted and trafficked by not just Nigerians but also various other African countries.”
Now focused heavily on building it’s social media presence and getting sellers to trust the platform before the core plans to scale are implemented, Opiid says its not worried of the competition and as a new African tech startup, the don’t want to speak about the continent’s ecommerce future or growth because the continent is still fresh and adjusting to solutions such as theirs. Though they believe it might take a while, the three have hopes that they are on the right track.
By allowing merchants to set up free online social stores on its site, Opiid is not a charity. It makes its cut from verified merchants who are allowed to accept online payments or on payment on delivery.Verified merchants pay Opiid a 5% transaction fee on every transaction while buyers pay minimal delivery fee. Unverified merchants mix with everyone on the classifieds section.