Opera’s Opay has shut down its motorcycle hailing service ORide; OCar, its car-hailing services, and OExpress, its delivery service amidst the poor economic climate caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ‘pausing’ of ORide, OCar, OFood and OExpress, was bound to happen as motorcycle hailing was not making sense for the firm especially after Lagos banned bike hailing affecting its services to the public. The firm does also not make much money out of the bike hailing services, hence the decision to ‘pause’ the services indefinitely.
There were signs earlier that this service might be axed when the firm pivoted to deliveries and sold off a number of its motorbikes. With the closure of the transport and logistics verticals, OPay is fueling its energies to payments, loans and eCommerce via its online store OMall and a B2B site OTrade.
With transport and logistics out, OPay will have to grow its payments, investment, and lending services to the mass market without the support of ORide, OCar and OFood.
During the launch, OPay wanted to be Nigeria’s biggest super app and ORide was just a start. OPay aimed to provide African users with great content and value added services as well as strengthen the internet ecosystem with local partners.
It had both the Opera also has both the resources and the technology to scale OPay into more services. Opera, the most popular mobile browser in Africa announced in May 2017, it would invest $100 million to facilitate the growth of African digital economy and maintain its number one position. The firm also said it was working with over 47 top tier African companies to integrate value-added services, mobile payment and data bundling into its browser.
Instead of bundling services into its browser, the firm launched OPay in Nigeria and Kenya with plans to expand across Africa. In November, OPay raised a $120 million Series B round to expand its product portfolio as well as expand across Africa. OPay will use the funds to scale its operations in Nigeria and launch its services in Kenya, Ghana and South Africa. The firm in June raised $50 million to double down on Nigeria.
“Africa is a very important market for Opera. Nine of the top 20 Opera Mini user countries are from Africa,” said Richard Monday, Vice President of Africa, Opera Software. “We aim to invest heavily in Africa, to build a local platform and grow with the local business partners. This platform will expand the user base for content providers, e-commerce businesses, operators, OEM’s and others to strengthen the African internet ecosystem.”
Below is the statement from OPay.