Opera’s Africa fintech startup OPay positive factors $120M from Chinese language traders

Africa centered fintech startup OPay has raised a $120 million Collection B spherical backed by Chinese language traders.

Situated in Lagos and based by shopper web firm Opera, OPay will use the funds to scale in Nigeria and develop its funds product to Kenya, Ghana and South Africa — Opera’s CFO Frode Jacobsen confirmed to TechCrunch.

Collection B traders included Meituan-Dianping, GaoRong, Supply Code Capital, Softbank Asia, BAI, Redpoint, IDG Capital, Sequoia China and GSR Ventures.

OPay’s $120 million spherical comes after the startup raised $50 million in June.

It additionally follows Visa’s $200 million funding in Nigerian fintech firm Interswitch and a $40 million increase by Lagos primarily based funds startup PalmPay — led by China’s Transsion.

There are a pair fast takeaways. Nigeria has turn into the epicenter for fintech VC and enlargement in Africa. And Chinese language traders have made an unmistakable pivot to African tech.

Opera’s exercise on the continent represents each developments. The Norway primarily based, Chinese language (majority) owned firm based OPay in 2018 on the recognition of its web search engine.

Opera’s web-browser has ranked No. 2 in utilization in Africa, after Chrome, the final 4 years.

The corporate has constructed a hefty suite of internet-based business merchandise in Nigeria round OPay’s monetary utility. These embrace bike ride-hail app ORide, OFood supply service, and OLeads SME advertising and promoting vertical.

“Opay will facilitate the individuals in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and different African international locations with the perfect fintech ecosystem. We see ourselves as a key contributor to…serving to native companies…thrive from…digital enterprise fashions,” Opera CEO and OPay Chairman Yahui Zhou, mentioned in a press release.

Opera CFO Frode Jacobsen shed extra gentle on how OPay will deploy the $120 million throughout Opera’s Africa community. OPay seems to be to seize quantity round invoice funds and airtime purchases, however not essentially as precedence.  “That’s not one thing you do ever day. We wish to focus our companies on issues which have high-frequency utilization,” mentioned Jacobsen.

These embrace transportation companies, meals companies, and different kinds of every day actions, he defined. Jacobsen additionally famous OPay will use the $120 million to enter extra international locations in Africa than these disclosed.

Since its Collection A increase, OPay in Nigeria has scaled to 140,000 lively brokers and $10 million in every day transaction quantity, in accordance with firm stats.

Past standing out as one other big funding spherical, OPay’s $120 million VC increase has significance for Africa’s tech ecosystem on a number of ranges.

It marks 2019 because the 12 months Chinese language traders went all in on the continent’s startup scene. OPay, PalmPay, and East African trucking logistics firm Lori Programs have raised a mixed $240 million from 15 totally different Chinese language actors in a span of months.

OPay’s funding and enlargement plans are additionally harbinger for fierce, cross-border fintech competitors in Africa’s digital finance house. Parallel occasions to observe for embrace Interswitch’s imminent IPO, e-commerce enterprise Jumia’s shift to digital finance, and WhatsApp’s seemingly entry in African funds.

The continent’s 1.2 billion individuals characterize the biggest share of the world’s unbanked and underbanked inhabitants — which makes fintech Africa’s most promising digital sector. But it surely’s changing into a notably crowded sector the place startup attrition and failure will definitely come into play.

And to not be missed is how OPay’s capital increase strikes Opera towards changing into a multi-service business web platform in Africa.

This locations OPay and its Opera-supported suite of merchandise on a aggressive footing with different ride-hail, meals supply and funds startups throughout the continent. Meaning inevitable competitors between Opera and Africa’s largest multi-service web firm, Jumia.

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