FinTech: Opay Nabs $400M; Turns Africa’s Fastest Unicorn

Opay, a mobile payments platform, garnered a valuation of $2 billion.

Opay, a mobile payments platform and POS device maker based in Africa, raised $400 million in a round led by Softbank Vision Fund 2 with participation by Sequoia Capital China and Redpoint China. Opay became a unicorn after the funding, the fastest startup in Africa to do so, after snagging a valuation of $2 billion. (Bloomberg)

Other investors in the fundraising included DragonBall Capital, the venture arm of Chinese food-delivery giant Meituan, Source Code Capital, SoftBank Ventures Asia and 3W Capital.

This was Softbank Vision Fund 2’s maiden investment in Africa.

Opay is owned by Chinese billionaire Yahui Zhou through Norwegian software company Opera.

In 2019, Opay raised $170 million across two funding rounds.

Financial inclusion in Africa

Opay was founded in 2018 and focuses on financial inclusion in Africa through its one-stop mobile-based platform for payment, transportation, food & grocery delivery, and other services.

It also provides individuals with a point-of-sale machine and underlying software, so they can act as banks and ATMs, performing so-called “agent-banking.”

According to the company, over 60% of Africans are unbanked and unable to access the most basic financial services.

Opay’s monthly transaction volumes now exceed $3 billion and it is expanding out from Africa and into the Middle East. In May, the fintech had as many as 300,000 agents.

“We want to be the power that helps emerging markets reach a faster economic development,” OPay Chief Executive Officer Yahui Zhou said in a statement.

“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 managing director at SoftBank Group Corp.

Related Story:  TPG’s Impact Investing Arm Pays $200M For Stake In Airtel Africa’s Mobile Money Biz                                                 

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