Opera’s OPay raises $50 million funding to boost e-commerce in Nigeria

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Bhaswati Sarkar
Bhaswati Sarkar
She is a feminist pursuing a M.A. degree. She likes to lose herself in music and daydreams quite often. Travelling excites her and photography is her passion- nature is her favorite subject. Writing is cathartic for her. A happy-go-lucky kind of person, she tries to remain calm and serene through daily life.

OPay, the Africa-focused payment platform developed by Opera Software in 2018, has raised $50 million in funding which it plans to invest in growing its digital finance business in Nigeria, the most populous nation and the largest economy in Africa.

Sequoia China, IDG Capital, Source Code Capital, and Opera were influential in raising the fund amount which would impact the tech-ecosystem of Africa in terms of Chinese tech influence on Nigeria.

Opera was acquired in 2016 for $600 million by a syndicate of Chinese investors led by current Opera CEO Yahui Zhou, and Chinese funds and sources constituted a significant portion of the investment for OPay’s raise of $50 million, including Sequoia China, Source Code Capital, and GSR Ventures. This raise would thus strengthen China’s influence on the African technology industry. 

The Central Bank of Nigeria has recently lifted many of its previously imposed restrictions on non-banks offering mobile payment service. This provides new avenues to mobile operators interested in offering mobile-money products to tge country, which can help further digital-finance adoption across the country.

OPay has a chance to boost Nigeria over Kenya, which has been Africa’s digital payments leader for years now thanks to the nippy adoption of mobile-money products, such as Safaricom’s M-Pesa. At present, Nigeria’s leading digital payment company is Paga which raised $10 million in 2018 to reach out to more people.

Opera’s motorcycle ride-hail app ORide and OFood delivery service are also going to be supported by OPay in India. It suggests OPay’s $50 million raise has nudged Opera towards becoming a multi-service commercial internet platform in Africa, and Opera might have the chance to enter into serious competition with Jumia, Africa’s largest multi-service e-commerce platform.

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