Report say that Chinese-backed and Africa-focused fintech platform OPay is raising over $400 million. The fundraising is coming two years after OPay announced two funding rounds in 2019; $50 million in June and $120 million Series B in November.
The $170 million fund came majorly from Chinese investors who have begun to bet on African startups over the past years. Some of the Chinese companies include, Soft Bank Venture Asia, Soft Bank, Sequoia Capital, GSR Ventures and Source Code Capital.
In 2018, popular internet search engine and browser, Opera launched the OPay mobile money platform in Lagos. Within few months the company began to expand aggressively with the city, using ORide, a now-defunct ride-hailing service, as an entry point to the array of services it wanted to offer. Since then, the company has tested several verticals — OBus, a bus-booking platform (also defunct); OExpress, a logistics delivery service; OTrade, a B2B e-commerce platform; OFood, a food delivery service, among others.
Although none of this services significantly scaled, OPay’s fintech and mobile money arm (which is its main play) is thriving. According to its parent company Opera, OPay’s monthly transactions grew 4.5x last year to over $2 billion in December. OPay also claims to process about 80% of bank transfers among mobile money operators in Nigeria and 20% of the country’s non-merchant point of sales transactions. Last year, the company also said it acquired an international money transfer license with a WorldRemit partnership also in the works.
OPay plays in an extremely competitive fintech market. With Nigeria as Africa’s most populous nation, and a large share of its people underbanked and unbanked, fintech is arguably the most promising digital sector in the country. The same can be said for the continent as a whole.
According to The Information, OPay’s valuation will increase to about $1.5 billion, three times what it was worth back in 2010.