It has been a busy Nigerian year for the Opera company. Just a few months ago, the company entered the ride-hailing market of Lagos, launching ORide in what was a dramatic series of events. Still based on the firm’s original payments product, Opera has launched a tricycle service in Aba, in Eastern Nigeria.
The three-wheel initiative provides an opportunity for Nigerian to embark on short road trips in a convenient book-and-board manner. While ORide is still penetrating the Nigerian ecosystem alongside other bike-hailing vyers, the tricycle-hailing platform comes at a time when keke is on high demand both on major and minor roads.
OTRike, also known as Maruwa (especially in Lagos), can now be ordered by Aba residents who have the OPay app on their smartphones. Even when there is no competition yet except for traditional tricycle drivers, the company is offering NGN 200 rides for trips that cost less than NGN 400 in the month of August. A repeat of the approach it used for ORide, private trips cost NGN 50 on a discount if your fare is not over NGN 400 this month.
This is an interesting business tale that began with a foray into the fintech sector. Ever since OPay was introduced, Opera has been breaking boundaries doing the unexpected.
It could be said that their strides are motivating other ride-hailing companies such as GoKada – who recently launched GBoat to harness the waters to Lagos state and beat its notorious traffic.
There’s also OFood, which basically delivers ordered meals to your doorsteps. This service is another testament to define just how much the company – asides Opera Mini – is involved in the tech atmosphere of the country.
OPay recently raised USD 50 Mn in a round which saw the participation of high-profile investors such as Source Code Capital, IDG Capital, Sequoia China, GSR Ventures and Meituan-Dianping.
The dollars secured, according to the company, was to advance its mobile payments. It is unclear whether Opera are using some of these funds champion OTrike ambitions, but it is very likely. Aba is the third city Opera is penetrating, and it has to do so with a war chest of funding. A stronger connection between these two developments is established by the timeframe – about a month.