AFRICA’S OPERA STARTUP OPay RAISES $120 MILLION FROM CHINESE INVESTORS
An African based fintech startup OPay raises $120 million in its Series B round led by Chinese investors.
The Series B round investors include GaoRong, Meituan-Dianping, Source Code Capital, BAI, Softbank Asia, Redpoint, IDG Capital, GSR Ventures and not excluding Sequoia China. This came after the startup (OPay) reportedly raised $50 million in its previous round held in June.
OPay is a Lagos based startup, founded by a consumer internet company Opera, and plans to use the funds to expand in Nigeria, and on the other hand – extend its payments product to Ghana, South Africa, and Kenya – Opera CFO ‘Frode Jacobsen’ said.
It’s also understood, Opera’s activity on the continent will potentially be efficient in both ways. However, the Norway based – majorly own by Chinese company founded ‘OPay’ last year (2018) based on the popularity of its internet search engine. While on the other hand, it was also figured out based on usage in the continent that Opera web-browser consistently ranked second after Chrome for the last four years.
It’s no surprise to see OPay raise $120 million, following Visa’s $200 million in Nigerian fintech company Interswitch, and that previously led by China’s Transsion – PalmPay payment startup based in Lagos. It’s therefore important to note that Nigeria has become a hotspot for fintech VC and expansion in Africa, and Chinese investors have made no mistake in African tech.
The company’s suite of its online-based commercial product has been broadened in Nigeria around Opay’s utilities, ranging from OFood delivery service, motorcycle ride-hail app ‘ORide’, and not excluding its SME marketing and advertising vertical ‘OLeads’. Responding to this development, Opera CEO and OPay Chairman ‘Yahui Zhou’ stated;
“OPay will facilitate the people in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and other African countries with the best fintech ecosystem. We see ourselves as a key contributor to…helping local business…thrive from…digital business models”.
In addition to how the funds will be used, Opera CFO ‘Frode Jacobsen’ stated how OPay will deploy the funds raised ($120 million) across the opera’s Africa network. Saying: “That’s not something you do every day. We want to focus our services on things that have high-frequency usage”. Would OPay focus on bill payments and airtime purchases! It shouldn’t be the startup’s core object.
Frode Jacobsen in his explanation made it clear that the areas of focus include food services, transport services coupled with other daily activities. But there is another twist, he also noted that the current funds will be used to establish OPay’s presence than those already disclosed.
This sees OPay emerge as another startup standing out in another funding round, which has significance in the continents tech ecosystem. Excluding OPay and PalmPay, in a span of months the East African trucking company ‘Lori Systems’ also raised $240 million from fifteen (15) different Chinese investors. Which marks this year as the year Chinese investors went all on Africa’s startup scene.
- What is your take as OPay raises $120 million led by Chinese investors?