Sequoia China co-leads $50m funding in Opera-founded startup OPay

The Sequoia Capital Logo is displayed on an iPhone screen. Photo: DEALSTREETASIA

OPay, an African provider of mobile payment service and consumer platform incubated by Norwegian browser company Opera, has raised $50 million in funding, co-led by Sequoia China, according to an announcement.

Other investors include IDG Capital, Source Code Capital, Meituan-Dianping and GSR Venture. Opera also joined the round in the payments venture it created.

The funds raised will be used 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.

OPay launched its mobile payment service in August 2018. It is a one-stop mobile-based platform for payment, transportation, food & grocery delivery, and other important services. The agent-centric mobile payment operation focused on reaching the massive unbanked population of Nigeria.

The company claims that it has more than 40,000 active agents and saw daily transaction volumes in excess of $5 million by June 2019, propelling the company to become the largest mobile transaction provider in the country.

Recently, the firm has expanded into new verticals, including the motorbike ridesharing service ORide and food delivery service Ofood.

“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.

Founded in 1995 in Norway, Opera delivers browsers and AI-driven digital content discovery platforms to more than 350 million people worldwide. It was bought by a Chinese consortium for $600 million in 2016.

Last year, the company filed for an initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq, seeking to raise $115 million.