OPay winds down Nigeria operations (Tech crunch)
Opera founded and Lagos-based fintech startup, OPay, is shutting down some of its operations in Nigeria due to a harsh business climate and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We can confirm that some of our business units, including the ride hailing services, ORide, OCar as well as our logistics service OExpress will be put on pause. This is largely due to the harsh business conditions which have affected many Nigerian companies, including ours, during this COVID-19 pandemic, the lockdown and government ban,” the company announced in a statement.
In January, Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced a ban on motorcycle and tricycle operations in sub-Saharan Africa’s largest city. Ride hailing services, a sector where OPay had begun to dominate, were affected by the ban.
Nigeria diagnosed its first COVID-19 case on February 27, 2020 and imposed nationwide restrictions in March. Businesses were shuttered as one in a raft of measures to curb the spread of the disease.
“Globally, ride-sharing businesses have been heavily impacted by the pandemic. But several months ago, foreseeing this issue, OPay had already taken preemptive steps to restructure our business focus away from rides. It is worthy to note that this final restructuring has minimal impact on OPay as a whole business.
“It is important to clarify that ride-sharing had always been only one part, and not a major part of OPay’s diversified business in Nigeria. In fact, OPay had been investing more and seeing accelerated growth in its commitment to Nigeria’s financial and technology inclusion.”
The company’s permanent platform is still in business, however.