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African Fintech Startup OPay Raises $120M Series B In Its Second Funding Round of 2019

Note: This story was updated post-publication to correct information regarding its number of founds, and amount raised this year.

Nigerian payment and ride-hailing app OPay announced this morning it has raised $120 million in a Series B of funding just a few months after raising $50 million.

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Besides being a large Series B, the round is notable in its size for the African market, which has seen an uptick in venture funding as of late, as our own Alex Wilhelm noted last month. The investment ranks among the largest venture rounds raised on the continent so far this year, according to Crunchbase data, and brings the company’s total raised since it was founded last year to $170 million.

Lagos-based OPay, which was incubated by Norwegian publicly traded internet company Opera, describes itself as a mobile wallet and motorbike ride-hailing provider. (Opera operates a web browser of the same name that is popular in Africa.) China’s Meituan-Dianping, DragonBall Capital (an investment fund backed by Meituan-Dianping), Gaorong Capital, Source Code Capital, SoftBank Ventures Asia, Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), Redpoint Ventures China, IDG Capital, Sequoia Capital China and GSR Ventures all participated in the round.

OPay’s services range from mobile payments and transfers to ride-hailing and food/grocery delivery.

In a statement, the company said it plans to use its new capital to “further accelerate its expansion across its multiple verticals, as well as entering new African markets.”

OPay CEO Yahui Zhou said in particular the startup is eyeing expansion in its home country, South Africa, and Kenya, as well as “other African countries… where local regulation is supportive of scientific and technological entrepreneurship in the fintech space.”

“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,” Zhou added.

OPay launched its mobile payment service in August 2018, with an initial focus on “the massive unbanked population of Nigeria.” The company said that since its Series A funding in May, it’s tripled its active agents to over 140,000 and saw daily transaction volumes double to over $10 million per day.

Meanwhile, it claims that its ride-hailing service has become the largest of its kind in Nigeria, seeing a more than tripling of daily rides over the past three months. OPay recently launched additional services around food delivery and cashless payments for offline businesses.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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