By Adedapo Adesanya
Financial technology-oriented company owned by Opera, OPay, has raised an amount equating $120 million Series B funding backed by Chinese investors. The funding comes after the Africa-based fintech company raised $50 million earlier this year in June in the Series A investment.
This new Series B capital by Asian investors include Meituan-Dianping, GaoRong, Source Code Capital, Softbank Asia, BAI, Redpoint, IDG Capital, Sequoia China and GSR Ventures.
Reports disclosed that OPay will use the new funding to accelerate its growth in as well as to expand to Ghana and South Africa and will make a return to Kenya where it originally launched in 2017.
“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,” OPay Chairman Yahui Zhou, was quoted as saying in a statement.
On his part, the Chief Financial Officer, Opera, Frode Jacobsen said that with the new capital, OPay will be looking to capture volume around bill payments and airtime purchases, but added that is not necessarily as priority.
“That’s not something you do every day. We want to focus our services on things that have high-frequency usage,” he said.
This new development comes on the heels of stiff competition in the Nigerian fintech space as fierce rivalry is on the rise as evident when Visa invested $200 million in Nigerian fintech company, Interswitch and $40 million was raised by Lagos based payments startup PalmPay — led by China’s Transsion.
Opay, which is run by Norway-based Chinese-owned Opera, has always faced backlash in recent times but has created a number of internet-based commercial products in Nigeria around OPay’s financial utility such as motorcycle ride-hail app ORide, OFood delivery service, and OLeads SME marketing and advertising vertical.
With Nigeria’s financial inclusion driving at 80 percent in 2020, it is believed that this digital driven competition will bring the country’s unbanked population into the digital economy fold.
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