FinTech Firm Completes Seed Round for Expansion in Africa

Lagos-based FinTech firm Opay has successfully obtained a $120 million Series B investment round from several prominent Chinese investors.

The firm was created in 2018 by web browser developer Opera and has already secured another fundraising of $50 million sometime in June this year. Opay is focused on creating digital payment remedies to boost monetary inclusion.

Based on an article by TechCrunch, Opay is looking to utilize the newly acquired seeded fund to expand its operational reach beyond Nigeria into Kenya, Ghana and South Africa.

The investing round comprised prominent venture capital names like Sequoia China, Softbank Asia, IDG Capital, Meituan-Dianping, GaoRong, Source Code Capital, BAI, Redpoint and GSR Ventures.

The firm’s operations in its base country, Nigeria, has witnessed a substantial spike after the secured seed fund. TechCrunch reported that the firm’s active agents had increased to 140,000 and it now records a daily transaction percentage.

Opera’s Involvement
Norway-based software developer Opera is involved both in the cryptocurrency sector and in the consumer’s market in Africa. Opera’s web browser is said to be the second most used browser on the continent, according to a survey by Statcounter.

Opera is on the verge of acquiring web 3.0 development and is trying to integrate crypto wallets and payments services into its mobile and desktop products.

Web 3.0 refers to strives to create a “semantic internet”, and is used in referring to the evolution of a more intelligent, open and distributed web, which could incorporate the use of blockchain, decentralized technology and cryptocurrencies.

Prospects of Blockchain Technology in Africa
TechCrunch also notes that African startups, like Opay, PalmPay, and Lori, have grossed combined funding of $240 million from multiple Chinese investors in just the space of months.

Also, Nigeria-based Interswitch has been conferred with unicorn status after a seed investment from Visa. The firm is nurturing plans to IPO soon.

As observed, blockchain technology is picking up steam in Nigeria. Policymakers in the country are working tirelessly to create a framework for blockchain regulation. They are also trying to foster blockchain technology systems in private sectors like transportation.

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