Chinese Investors Pump In $120 Million Into Nigerian Fintech OPay

November 19, 2019 | FinTech, Venture Capital

OPay is Opera’s (of browser fame) African fintech arm.

Nigerian fintech OPay is an arm of Opera, which is based in Norway and majority-owned by Chinese. Opera founded OPay in 2018, leveraging its success as a browser of choice on the African continent. OPay’s Series B round of $120 million was subscribed by investors that included Meituan-Dianping,  GaoRong, Source Code Capital, Softbank Asia, BAI, Redpoint, IDG Capital, Sequoia China, and GSR Ventures.

However, OPay previously raised $50 million in June.

Nigerian fintech OPay’s Africa drive

OPay will use the money raised to expand its Nigerian operations and boost the reach of its payments product to Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa.

According to TechCrunch, Nigeria is the go-to country for fintech innovation and venture capital in Africa.

“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 businesses…thrive from…digital business models,” Opera CEO and OPay Chairman Yahui Zhou, said in a statement.

Nigerian fintech OPay combines the internet with a financial engine

OPay has leveraged its financial utility and added apps around it, such as motorcycle ride-hail app ORide, OFood delivery service, and OLeads SME marketing and advertising vertical.

It will also use the funds from the latest raising to capture payments transactions across Africa such as bill payments and mobile airtime. However, it will attempt to snare more everyday business, such as transportation, food, and other day-to-day services.

Furthermore, OPay has 140,000 active agents and a daily transaction volume of $10 million.

Chinese in an African funding drive

Interestingly, the Chinese have turned aggressive investors in Africa. Apart from OPay, Chinese investors also funded PalmPay and Lori Systems, an East African trucking and logistics company. The three together raised $240 million from 15 Chinese investors in a matter of months.

Meanwhile, the Chinese are perhaps eyeing the rich pickings from funding fintechs that could digitally reach Africa’s 1.2 billion population of the unbanked.

[Related Story: Nubank, the Brazilian Fintech, Hits a Purple Patch ]

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