Even with competition from established companies like Bolt and Uber, OPay started up its ride-hailing platform, called OCar, hoping that the new service would be as successful as its bike-hailing platform ORide.
OCar is the latest in a string of verticals that includes OFood, OLists, Okash and OWealth.
While the company has seen impressive adoption with ORide, cab-hailing is generally considered to be a different beast.
Since Uber’s entry into Nigeria in 2014, competition has swiftly followed: Rideshare, GidiCab, InDriver, among others. Of all the newcomers, only Bolt has managed to grab considerable market share.
The barrier to entry in the ride-hailing services industry is low. First, you need an app like Onde, then you’re left with the task of recruiting drivers and getting people to use the app.
Many entrepreneurs find the first step easy, but the second step is where the challenge lies.
It’s a careful demand-supply dance: to get drivers to sign up to your platform, they need to know they’ll earn money, to get people to use your service, they need to know they will find drivers.
So how is OCar tackling this problem, given their late entry to the space?
Massive discounts for riders while drivers earn full fare
Like ORide, OCar started with eye-watering discounts. In the first week, it was N200 ($0.55) for trips within Lagos, followed by the current N250 ($0.69) charge.
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