OPay Joins Flutterwave on Africa's Unicorn List as SoftBank, Others Hands it N160billion

OPay Joins Flutterwave on Africa's Unicorn List as SoftBank, Others Hands it N160billion

  • Fintech startup, OPay, becomes a unicorn company as it ruffles shoulders with Flutterwave, Jumia, and two other fintech companies in Africa
  • OPay gets N160 billion from eight investors as it seeks to fasten the development of emerging markets in Africa and the Middle East
  • SoftBank invested in OPay, while Sequoia Capital China, DragonBall Capital, Meituan, Redpoint China, Source Code Capital, and others contributed

Two months after Flutterwave became the third unicorn fintech company in Africa, OPay has achieved the same feat with the fundraising of over N160 billion.

The Nigerian mobile payment platform with a market presence in Africa and the Middle East is now valued at $2 billion almost four years after it was founded by Opera, the internet search engine firm.

This valuation increases the list of unicorns in Africa - which is startups valued above a billion-dollar - to five, joining Interswitch, Jumia, Fawry and Flutterwave.

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OPay raises $400 million to become one of Africa's unicorn startups like Flutterwave as SoftBank, others invest in the company
Individuals checking something on their phone (R) and OPay illustration. Photo: OPay
Source: Facebook

OPay's N160 billion, and investors led by SoftBank

The $2 billion valuation of OPay was made possible by the investment round led by SoftBank Vision Fund, alongside Sequoia Capital China, DragonBall Capital.

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Other participants included Chinese food-delivery giant Meituan, Redpoint China, Source Code Capital, SoftBank Ventures Asia and 3W Capital - the eight investors contributed N160 billion.

This is one of few fundraising organised by OPay, as the fintech company had raised about $170 million prior to the recent capital infusion announced on Monday, August 23, 2021, by Bloomberg.

What SoftBank is saying about OPay

This is SoftBank's first investment entry into Africa, and according to Kentaro Matsui, Managing Director of SoftBank Group Corp. and former managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers:

“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.”

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OPay intends to incorporate the funds in its bid to power and hasten the development of the emerging market through financial technology, Yahui Zhou, OPay Chief Executive Officer said.

OPay's growth within three years has seen it make above $3 billion as monthly transaction volumes.

Note: Legit.ng made enquiries regarding the deal from SoftBank, and is still awaiting a response.

Flutterwave becomes billion-dollar fintech startup

In related news, Legit.ng had previously reported that Flutterwave's market valuation rose above $1 billion in March 2021, after organising fundraising.

The Nigerian-owned fintech startup raised $170 million from eleven investors to grow its services and make it competitive in a nascent market.

Flutterwave was founded by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and Olugbenga Agboola in 2016, with headquarters located in San Francisco, United States.

Source: Legit.ng

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