OPay, an African fintech start-up founded by consumer Internet company Opera, will use the money to expand its presence in Nigeria and expand its payment offerings to Kenya, Ghana and South Africa. This round of B investors includes Meituan, Gaorong, Source Code Capital, SoftBank Asia, BAI, Redpoint, IDG Capital, Sequoia China and GSR Ventures. OPay’s $120 million raising comes after the company raised $50 million in June.
It follows a $200m investment by Visa in Interswitch, a Nigerian fintech company, while Lagos-based payments start-up PalmPay raised $40m. Nigeria has become the centre of fintech venture capital expansion in Africa. And Chinese investors are crucial to the development of Africa’s technology industry.
Opera is headquartered in Norway and is currently owned by a Chinese company. Opera founded OPay in 2018. Opera’s web browser has been the second most used in Africa in the past four years, behind Chrome. The company has built a large set of Internet-based business products near the OPay financial institution in Nigeria. These include motorcycle calling app ORide, OFood delivery service and OLeads Small and Medium Business Marketing and Vertical Advertising.
The continent’s 1.2 billion people represent the largest share of the world’s population without bank accounts and underbank accounts, making fintech the most promising digital industry in Africa.