Photograph — Innov8tiv

Popular mobile payments startup, OPay, has secured $50 million in funding with lead investors including Sequoia China, IDG Capital, and Source Code Capital. Also joining the funding round is the Norwegian browser company and the startup’s founder, Opera Limited.

The funds will be primarily deployed in growing the startup’s digital finance business in Nigeria, as well as support Opera’s growing commercial network in Nigeria – a motorcycle ride-hail app ORide and meal delivery service OFood.

“By incubating OPay and supporting the company through its rapid acceleration, Opera has also demonstrated its ability to leverage its brand and consumer reach to create attractively, fast-growing businesses on the African continent. We are highly pleased by the team’s results and are excited to continue supporting OPay as the journey continues,” Chair and CEO of Opera Limited, Yahui Zhou said. 

Within ten months of launching, OPay saw daily transaction volumes exceed $5m and was well on the way to becoming Nigeria’s largest mobile transaction provider. Also, the company is reportedly already experiencing demand far in excess of its capacity and is rapidly adding to its motorbike fleet, ensuring a highly visible presence in its core market, Nigeria. Thus, “geographical expansion of OPay and other services” is a key part of the company’s plans, Zhou told TechCrunch.

Moreover, OPay’s fresh capital injection moves Opera towards becoming a multi-service commercial internet platform in Africa with part of the $50 million investment including diversification of country and product offerings. Considering its suite of product offerings and services (ride-hail, food-delivery, and payments), it is a possible competitor for Africa’s largest multi-service internet company, Jumia.

Opay, an Africa-focused digital payments service, was founded by Opera in 2018. The parent company’s web-browser (Opera Mini) has ranked number two in usage in Africa, after Chrome, for the last four years. In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy, OPay’s payments service has scaled to 40,000 active agents and $5 million in transaction volume in 10 months.

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