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Opera Mini’s Parent Company Launches ‘ORide’ an On-Demand Motorcycle Hailing Service

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ORide, an on-demand motorcycling service has been launched by Opera Mini in Nigeria. The launch signals Opera Mini’s diversification into other business lines.

It may interest you to know that Opera Mini was one of the first browsers Nigerians, and other Africans used to access the web, before the advent of competitors such as UC Browser, Firefox and Google Chrome.

The conglomerate, in May 2018, launched its first mobile payment service in the West African country. Dubbed Opera Pay (OPay for short), the product was initially operated by Nigeria’s Telnet Group as PayCom, a company which Opera acquired a massive part of and rebranded to OPay.

The mobile payment solution allows users to pay utility bills, purchase airtime and mobile data, top online accounts and do in-and-out transactions, all from a mobile app. OPay operates as a bank that helps users send and receive money to and from any Nigerian bank directly within the app.

It is on the backs of this seemingly successful fintech product that the Opera company is launching its own motorcycle hailing business in Nigeria.

In a bid to prepare users for this service, the firm has introduced an ORide section to the OPay app. It is reported that when users click on the ORide option, they are given a list of coupons to redeem to get free rides.

March 2017, Opera made known its intentions to take on more markets. “We are definitely interested in more markets. There’s nothing preventing us from initiating an extension at any time,” Jan Standal, head of global marketing and communications, said. Around the same period, the company announced a USD 100 Mn fund telescoped at the digital potential of Africa.

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Two months after, Opera pinpointed that up to USD 40 Mn of the initial bulk of investment is going to be focused on Nigeria. In a bid to transform itself into the digital continent, the investment was channelled towards the rise of internet adoption in Nigeria.

Oride is entering a market that is gradually becoming competitive. In retrospect, Uganda’s bike-hailing startup secured a significant investment with which it is currently finalizing plans to make entry into Nigeria.

On the back of this, one of Nigeria’s leading motorcycle hailing platform, Gokada, raised USD 5.3 m to scale its operations.

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