OPay raises $50 million to scale ORide bike-hailing startup


Opera Software AS’ OPay Limited said it has raised fresh funding totaling up to $50 million to scale ORide, its bike-hailing startup in Lagos and other Nigerian cities.

Opera said in an emailed statement that the raising was led by existing investors including IDG Capital, Sequoia China, Source Code Capital, Meituan-Dianping, GSR Ventures and as well as OPay’s parent company, Opera Limited.

Opera said in the statement that OPay plans to use the new capital 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 has increased competitive pressure against its major rival, Gokada in Lagos after it started its operations in May.

The company disclosed over 40,000 active agents and saw daily transaction volumes in excess of $5 million, propelling the company to become the largest mobile transaction provider in the country.

Recently, OPay has expanded its ecosystem to new verticals, including the motorbike ridesharing service ORide and food delivery service OFood. OPay is already experiencing demand far in excess of its capacity and is rapidly adding to its motorbike fleet, ensuring a highly visible physical presence in its core market, Nigeria.

Chairman and CEO of Opera Limited, Yahui Zhou, commented, “By incubating OPay and supporting the company through its rapid acceleration, Opera has also demonstrated its ability to leverage its brand and consumer reach to create attractive, fast-growing businesses on the African continent. We are highly pleased by the team’s results and are excited to continue supporting OPay as the journey continues.”

“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.

“We are thrilled that IDG Capital, Sequoia China, Source Code Capital and others are coming onboard as investors in OPay. The additional capital will allow OPay to accelerate its growth in mobile payment services and the growth into new verticals, such as motorbike ridesharing and food delivery,” said Yahui Zhou, Chairman and CEO of Opera Limited. “Further, the strength of Opera’s brand and OPay’s emerging position will benefit both companies’ and their visions to lead many internet verticals across Africa.”

However, the importance of this fundraising is that it will heighten competitive pressure in the bike-hailing segment. In May, Gokada said it raised about $5.2 million to scale its network and the startup later announced it would launch its boat services in Lagos called GBoat in 2020.

Given that OPay’s new funding is 10X of Gokada’s last round, there will be more firepower coming from the former than the latter.

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