SoftBank Makes First Move in Africa with $400 Million Investment in Mobile Payments Platform, OPay, Now Valued at $2 Billion

Giant technology investor, SoftBank, has made its first foray into Africa, making its first bet on Opay, a mobile payments platform which started in Nigeria.

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Giant technology investor, SoftBank, has made its first foray into Africa, making its first bet on Opay, a mobile payments platform which started in Nigeria.

According to Bloomberg, SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 led a $400 million funding round for the fintech company, valuing OPay at $2 billion.

This makes OPay the 5th African company valued at over $1 billion.

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SEE ALSO:  Central Bank of Nigeria Suspends Investment Fintechs Bank Accounts for Dealing in Cryptocurrencies

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OPay started in 2018 to provide customers with digital services in their everyday life, from mobility and logistics, to e-commerce and fintech, at cheap rates.

Its agent banking approach provides technology to a network of thousands of agents that facilitate the sending and receiving of money as well as payment of bills.

Parent company, Opera, reported that OPay’s monthly transactions grew 4.5x to over $2 billion in December 2020.

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.

The investment round is expected to bolster OPay’s ambition on the continent, with expansion underway in Egypt, and plans across the continent and the Middle East.

Speaking on this investment round, Kentaro Matsui, Managing Partner, SoftBank Vision Fund, said:

“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.”

                                                           – Managing Partner, SoftBank Vision Fund

Participants in the round also included existing and new investors like:

  • Sequoia Capital China
  • Redpoint China
  • Source Code Capital
  • Softbank Ventures Asia
  • DragonBall Capital
  • 3W Capital

OPay Chief Executive Officer, Yahui Zhou, said that the company ‘wants to be the power that helps emerging markets reach a faster economic development.’

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RECOMMENDED READING: 47% of Deals Closed in the First Half of 2021 are in the Fintech Sector – Inside the 2021 Africa Investment Report

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