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News > Private Equity > Deals

IDG Capital and others back OPay in Nigeria

Staff writer
July 18, 2019, 1:28 p.m.
268

Word count: 485

IDG Capital, Sequoia China, Source Code Capital, Meituan-Dianping, GSR Ventures and Opera have invested $50m in OPay, a provider of a rapidly growing mobile payment service and consumer platform.

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IDG Capital, Sequoia China, Source Code Capital, Meituan-Dianping, GSR Ventures and Opera have invested $50m in OPay, a provider of a rapidly growing mobile payment service and consumer platform.

OPay plans to use the new capital to strengthen the company’s position in Nigeria, expand to additional African markets and leverage its brand and app into adjacent verticals, including motorbike ridesharing and food delivery services.

Incubated by Opera, OPay launched its mobile payment service in August 2018, creating an infrastructure on which the company is now also adding new services.

The agent-centric mobile payment operation focused on reaching the massive unbanked population of Nigeria.

Within less than a year, by June 2019, OPay had more than 40,000 active agents and saw daily transaction volumes in excess of $5m, propelling the company to become the largest mobile transaction provider in the country.

Recently, OPay has expanded its ecosystem to new verticals, including the motorbike ridesharing service ORide and food delivery service OFood.

OPay is already experiencing demand far in excess of its capacity and is rapidly adding to its motorbike fleet, ensuring a highly visible physical presence in its core market, Nigeria.

Yahui Zhou, Chairman and CEO of Opera, said: “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 attractive, 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.”

“We are thrilled that IDG Capital, Sequoia China, Source Code Capital and others are coming onboard as investors in OPay. The additional capital will allow OPay to accelerate its growth in mobile payment services and the growth into new verticals, such as motorbike ridesharing and food delivery,” he added.

“Further, the strength of Opera’s brand and OPay’s emerging position will benefit both companies’ and their visions to lead many internet verticals across Africa.”

Opera currently has significant reach in Africa.

At the end of the first quarter of 2019, there were nearly 120 million people across Africa and more than 350 million worldwide using Opera products, including browsers, the standalone news app and fintech offerings.

This represented a fast double digit growth for the company in the African region in comparison with the prior year.

The increase is due to Opera launching new products, the addition of new mobile browser features, and its partnerships with smartphone manufacturers across Africa.

Further, this scale enabled Opera to incubate OPay into a strong company that has significant ambitions beyond its current offerings and geographical footprint.

“OPay has successfully built a leading mobile payment business in Nigeria in a short period of time. We are excited to be part of its continued growth, as it provides access to better mobile banking services for Nigeria’s 200 million population, and expands into new areas,” said Qingsheng Zheng, Partner of Sequoia China.

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