Opera's OPay Raises USD 120 Mn From Chinese Investors

Daniel Fowler
November 20, 2019

The Series B round funding was backed by Chinese investors like Sequoia China, Meituan-Dianping, GaoRong Capital, Source Code Capital and other investors like Softbank Asia, BAI, Redpoint, IDG Capital and GSR Ventures.

Additionally, OPay's motorbike ridesharing service has more than tripled its daily rides over the past three months, and the company recently launched additional services around food delivery and cashless payments for offline businesses.

OPay, the startup behind one of Nigeria's leading mobile payments services, has raised $120 million in a Series B funding round joined by a host of Chinese investors.

This announcement by OPay comes days after Visa announced that they are acquiring a 20% stake at another Lagos based fintech company, Interswitch.

"Opay will facilitate the people in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and other African countries with the best fintech ecosystem". OPay has since then been able to diversify into transport (ORide, OTrike, OBus), food delivery (OFood) and services. Over the last months, Techcrunch reports that about 15 Chinese businessmen have made notable investments in African tech.

Opera CFO Frode Jacobsen shed additional light on how OPay will deploy the $120 million across Opera's Africa network. This implies that more Nigerians will be targeted to either increase their use of Opay's services or start using the services. It has scaled to over 140,000 agents and $10 million in daily transaction volume.

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Notably, since this year, Chinese investors have contributed a lot to African startups.

So far, Opera has been able to navigate the Fintech and ride-hailing scene with OPay, ORide, and other subsidiaries, solidifying its positions as a multi-facet service solution.

The possibility of OPay and PalmPay, two China-backed payments companies, becoming major players in key African markets is also in keeping with a wider trend which has seen rise of Chinese presence in Africa, from public infrastructure projects to news and media.

OPay is now home to a bunch of services spanning from bill payments, ride booking and more, all of which it plans to scale across to other African countries apart from the ones mentioned.

With a population of approximately 1.2 billion, Africa has a ready market and Nigeria appears to be the center of this market.

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