Nigerian Mobile Money Service and Ride-Hailing App OPay Raises $120 Million via Series B Round

OPay, a Nigeria-based mobile money service and ride-hailing app, revealed on November 18 that it had acquired $120 million in funding through a Series B investment round just months after it raised $50 million in a separate round.

The African venture capital market has been attracting substantially larger investments for various technology projects. OPay’s latest funding round is notably one of the largest venture-backed rounds in 2019. The payment app’s company has now raised a total of $170 million.

Lagos-based OPay had been incubated by Opera, a Norway-headquartered publicly traded internet firm. OPay offers a mobile wallet and motorbike ride-hailing service. The following companies took part in OPay’s fundraising round: Chinese firm Meituan-Dianping, IDG Capital, Sequoia Capital China, Source Code Capital, SoftBank Ventures Asia, DragonBall Capital (an investment fund supported by Meituan-Dianping), Gaorong Capital, Bertelsmann Asia Investments Redpoint Ventures China, and GSR Ventures.

In addition to providing an online payment wallet and a ride-hailing app, OPay offers food/grocery delivery services.

OPay says that it intends to use the funds raised to “further accelerate its expansion across its multiple verticals, as well as entering new African markets.”

OPay CEO Yahui Zhou noted that the company is currently focused on expanding its operations in Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya. The firm is also preparing to establish operations in “other African countries… where local regulation is supportive of scientific and technological entrepreneurship in the Fintech space.”

Zhou stated:

“OPay will facilitate the people in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and other African countries with the best fintech ecosystem that Africa has ever seen, paired with the inclusion of daily use services such as transportation and delivery. We see ourselves as a key contributor to expanding financial inclusion in Africa, and helping local businesses and workforces to thrive from opportunities created by new, digital business models. The capital raised will be allocated to African countries where local regulation is supportive of scientific and technological entrepreneurship in the fintech space.”

In August 2018, OPay introduced its mobile-based payment app. The company’s new money transfer service focuses on improving the lives of “the massive unbanked population of Nigeria.” OPay’s management claims that following its Series A funding in May of this year, it has tripled its active agents to more than 140,000 and its daily transaction volumes have increased by 200% to more than $10 million.

OPay further claims that its ride-hailing app is now the largest in Nigeria. The company has also introduced food delivery and cashless payments for offline companies.

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