OPay, a mobile payment service startup in Africa has raised that has $50 million in funding, plans to use the funding to boost its fintech business. At the same time, it also plans to use the funding to strengthen the company’s position in Nigeria- which is Africa’s most populous nation and also the largest economy.
OPay, founded by Norwegian browser company Opera plans to expand to other African markets and also diversify. OPay will also support other Opera brands such as motorcycle ride-hail app ORide and OFood delivery service. Investors such as IDG Capital, Sequoia China, Source Code Capitial, GSR Ventures and Opera Limited took part in the funding round.
The majority of the fund OPay raised came from Chinese sources such as Source Code Capital, Sequoia China, and GSR Ventures. In 2016, OPay founder Opera was acquired for $600 million by a consortium of Chinese investors, led by current Opera CEO Yahui Zhou.
According to media reports, OPay’s new funding could change the face of fintech in Nigeria. It could help the country overtake Kenya as Africa’s digital payments leader. Currently, Kenya holds the top spot due to the country’s swift transition to the digital sector.
One of the reasons for Nigeria to not overtake Kenya so far, despite being Africa’s most populous nation and also the largest economy was its central bank’s policy to not let non-banking entities offer mobile payment services. However, the restrictions were lifted earlier this year, making the process of setting up fintech companies in the country easier.
OPay was launched in August 2018 as a mobile payment service provider. Since its inception, the startup has diversified into the food delivery and motorcycle taxi-booking services. Currently, Opera has a large user base in Africa with 120 million people using its browser.
Recently eight Nigerian fintech startups have partnered to bring tech training programme Lambda School to Africa with an aim to offer young Africans free software development training and the chance to secure jobs.