Opay is becoming the largest fintech firm in Africa and not just that they have been introducing different means of helping and beating competitors. OPay has launched yet another vertical; a car-hailing service called OCar. This is coming just a day after it announced a $120m Series B funding round led by Chinese investors.
OCar, which can be accessed via OPay’s mobile app, will operate both as a ride-hailing and ride-sharing service in eight major Nigerian cities including Lagos, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Benin, Kaduna, Abeokuta, and Ibadan. So far, only Lagos has been activated, according to OPay.
OCar’s choice of launch locations hints at an attempt to compete with Estonia-owned ride-hailing company Bolt (formerly Taxify) which also has a presence in the same states (excluding Kaduna and Abeokuta, where locally-founded first-mover, Pickup operates) and more recently Calabar and Akwa Ibom capital, Uyo.
American-owned Uber, however, has presence in only Lagos, Benin and Abuja.
OPay is offering massive discounts to its prospective O Car customers to drive patronage. For as low as 200 Naira, you go anywhere in the aforementioned cities.
As is industry standard practice, intending OCar drivers is to sign up with their cars on the platform, get verified and accredited before onboarding.
OCar charges drivers a 15% commission, unlike UBER that maintains a 25% flat rate. OPay claims that the 15% commission reduces to 3% after drivers have done 20 trips within the same week.
A competitive face-off with first-comer Uber and Bolt in terms of pricing and commission cannot be overlooked.
But how long this remains is not assured.
Recently, an OPay agent confirmed a complaint of high fare charges, that the startup has halted bonuses for ORide on the platform.
Although OPay’s plans to deploy its recently acquired funds into scaling, expansion and improvement of frequently used services on the platform, it is not certain if OPay intends to fit OCar into the same space with the likes ORide, OFood, airtime and utility payments.
The latter is more of everyday touchpoints for the average Nigerian, as opposed to cars that are perceived a luxury.
OCar is definitely going to compete with UBER and Bolt (formerly known has Taxify).
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