Opera Mini, a mobile web browser is increasingly becoming an alternative to Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and UC browser in the continent due to its user-friendly interface and efficiency in the use of data while accessing the internet. It currently boasts over a 100 million active users in Africa with Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa being the lead user countries. These numbers have seen Otello Corporation which owns the Opera brand invest a whopping $100 million USD in an attempt to speed up adoption of the internet while strengthening internet ecosystems with local brands. Opera has seen a potentially valuable market to explore and capitalize on its 20% market share of popular web browsers in Africa with Google Chrome as its main competitor. Currently, Opera has offices in Nigeria and Kenya whereby developers have been on an offensive creating internet solutions based programs that have not been fully exploited in the region. The company has singled out two growth strategies to ensure the success of its operations.
The launch of the app, Opera News late last year has seen it hit over 1 Million downloads. Currently, it’s topping the charts on the Android play store. The app seeks to partner with local content producers to enable their audiences to get easy access to entertainment, sports, business and technology news that is in sync with interests of browsers. The apps greatly relies on artificial intelligence to recommend trending videos and relevant news according to a user’s previous browsing history. The firm seeks to capitalize on the ease at which people are able to access websites and blog posts while utilizing its unique data saving capabilities. Publishers will be required to pay a premium for boosting their content on the application.
Digital banking & Payment Platforms
Opera launched a payment platform, Opay, termed as a fast and secure payment option for a variety of services such as buying credit, handling utility bills such as electricity, water and cable TV. Although it’s not popular at the moment, their use of extra credits and cashback bonuses will fuel its adoption in a few years’ time. However, Opera faces a dominant market leader in mobile payments, M-Pesa which has an unrivalled monopoly. Okash, a loan app was recently introduced into the already flooded digital credit market with Tala, Branch and Saida being the most popular. The application has a lower loan limit of ksh. 1500 (approximately $15). The application already has an advantage over other apps due to its low weight space (7mb) compared to its competitors saving its users a significant amount of data in phone space.
Certainly, Opera software is on the right track as far as the strategy to dominate the Africa internet space is concerned. In the technology space, the most innovative product that brings fresh ideas and solutions becomes king and therefore Opera has to keep on giving us regular updates to keep it interesting and efficient to use.