BrandArena: Why Opera's OPay shut down ORide, OCar, OExpress Businesses in Nigeria

Friday 3 July 2020

Why Opera's OPay shut down ORide, OCar, OExpress Businesses in Nigeria

Opera’s fintech startup, OPay yesterday announced the discontinuation of some of its businesses including its bike hailing service, ORide; ride-hailing business, OCar; food delivery business, OFood and its logistics business, OExpress in Nigeria. This is according to a report a statement posted on the company's social media.

OPay’s investors sent a memo in the early hours of Tuesday to the Nigerian team directing all other verticals but payments to shut down operations and all the Chinese expatriate workers to return to China as soon as possible.

“...the Nigerian team has already set up a team tasked with the recovery of all the ORide motorcycles on the road”, part of the statement reads.

OPay said “the businesses will be put on pause.” It said that the closure was in part due to the harsh business conditions which have affected many Nigerian companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdown and the Lagos state government ban imposed on the operations of ride-hailing businesses last year.

The company said it had already taken preemptive steps to restructure its business focus away from rides, several months after foreseeing the impact of the pandemic on its ride-hailing business.

“During the pandemic, we have seen continued demand for our mobile money agency, and online digital payment, which remains the core of our business.”

The company assured its user that it will continue to invest in and grow in the eCommerce space, aligning its customer and business eCommerce units which will continue to operate and grow.

Despite the reassurance by the company, it would seem that the company has abandoned its vision to be a super app. The company launched with high expectations in the Nigerian fintech space armed with the expertise and resources to redefine the financial landscape. In 2019, it raised a total of $150 million to scale its businesses across Africa. It boasted of a daily transaction volume of 10 million.

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