Opera Software, the developers of the popularly used browser in Africa known as the “Opera Mini” is to invest $100 million USD in facilitating the growth of digital economy in Africa for the next two years. The Company started twenty years ago by two Norwegian and has been a pioneer in bringing Africa’s internet population online by featuring tools that save data costs.
The company recently celebrated 100 million monthly users in Africa, with South Africa ranks highest followed by Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda respectively and now focusing on making the next generation of web browsers to cater the needs of African internet users.
The company will use the investment to speed up internet adoption in Africa and expected to strengthen the continent’s online ecosystem with local partners.
The biggest consumer barriers to internet adoption in most African countries are the lack of digital skills and awareness, locally relevant content and affordability. GSMA Intelligence reported
To bring more first-time internet users without the fear of high data costs or lack of locally relevant content, Opera invests in developing a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence engine for smartphone users that will ensure content discovery is at the heart of the browser. Opera users in Africa will get fully personalized and localized content delivered to their browser, the entry point for their internet experience while the data usage can be reduced up to 90%.
The company will work with local partners to integrate value-added services, mobile payment and data bundling into its browser product as part of their mission to grow with Africa. And this will grant consumers access to quality content and services, giving them the ability to transact more easily on their mobile devices.
Africa is a very important market for Opera and nine of the top 20 Opera Mini user countries are from Africa,” says Richard Monday, Vice President of Africa, Opera Software. “
Opera aims to invest more in Africa, to build a local platform and grow with the local business partners. This platform will expand the user base for content providers, e-commerce businesses, operators, OEM’s and others to strengthen the African internet ecosystem.” Richard Monday added.
In addition to their offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa, the company is expanding with new offices in Lagos, Nigeria and Nairobi, Kenya to support business and product development. And plans to hire around 100 people for these offices over the next coming three years.