OPay’s Bike-hailing startup, ORide has just started its operations in Nigeria’s southwest city of Ibadan.
OPay and ORide are both startups of Opera Software AS. They are part of the tech giant’s $100 million strategic investment targeted for the African market.
Ibadan is West Africa’s largest city by land mass with various townships torn apart by several kilometers. The city also has various industrial and research hubs that make a strategic market for ORide.
However, Ibadan is not Lagos. The city has a lower commercial prospect and a lower disposable income when compared to Lagos. On the flip side, the city has lower population density and less hectic traffic that makes it a compelling market to seek growth for ORide.
Gokada, the first bike-hailing startup to launch in Nigeria has not entered the market. It has since focused on Lagos, the same market where it has faced stiffer competition from ORide, Max and other players. Gokada also planned to launch its boat service called GBoat by 2020. The move has also pushed Uber Technologies Inc local unit in Nigeria to announce its plan to launch a boat service by 2020. ORide has not commented on its plan for water transportation in Lagos, however, sources claimed it will follow the trail of its competitors.
One of the major push for ORide is its leverage on OPay’s mobile money and merchant platform that warehouses ORide alongside its food delivery, sports betting and bill payment services.
Sources close to the company said ORide’s operation in Ibadan could be through a franchise arrangement that will allow the unit to operate independently and grow at its own pace.
The significance of ORide arrival in Ibadan will be a major experiment to look forward to. There has been no transportation tech startup that has ventured into the city because of its peculiar status as a less commercial centre. It will be interesting to see how ORide makes something out of its sojourn into Ibadan