Third Nigerian Fintech Unicorn Birthed As OPay Secures $400 Million And Shoots To A Value Of $2 Billion


Aug. 24, 2021, 12:09 p.m.

Record has certainly been achieved as OPay secures a $400 million funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, the venture capital arm of Japanese conglomerate, SoftBank. This is the first time SoftBank Vision Fund is investing in an Africa-based startup.

This news comes three months after it was reported that the company was in talks to raise “up to $400 million at a $1.5 billion valuation” from a group of Chinese investors. The new financing also comes two years after OPay announced two funding rounds in 2019 — $50 million in June and a $120 million Series B in November.

This latest fundraise is the largest in terms of size and value which shoots the valuation of OPay to $2 billion, making it the third Nigerian fintech unicorn after Flutterwave and Interswitch.

Founded in 2018, OPay operated exclusively in Nigeria where it offered ride-hailing, logistics, and fintech services at cheap rates for consumers. The fintech arm is currently the most active part of the business as it had to shut down its ride-hailing platform due to a government ban on motorcycles in Lagos and the pandemic.

The company claims its monthly transaction volume now exceeds $3 billion, with over 300,000 agents and more than 5 million users across Nigeria. OPay also claims to process about 80% of bank transfers among mobile money operators in Nigeria and 20% of the country’s non-merchant point of sales transactions.

“We want to be the power that helps emerging markets reach faster economic development,” OPay’s Chief Executive Officer, Yahui Zhou said of the funding in an emailed statement.

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Last year, OPay expanded to Egypt and according to the company, that is an entry point to the Middle East market.

“We believe our investment will help the company extend its offering to adjacent markets and replicate its successful business model in Egypt and other countries in the region,” said Kentaro Matsui, a SoftBank Group Corp. managing director and former managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, which oversees Vision Fund and Vision Fund 2.

Existing investors like Sequoia Capital China, Redpoint China, Source Code Capital, and Softbank Ventures Asia also participated in the financing round. Other investors include DragonBall Capital and 3W Capital.

tag: Funding, Startup, Fintech,


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Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.