Softbank is betting big on Africa for the first time ever with a hefty investment in Nigerian fintech startup Opay.
Bloomberg reports that the financial giant’s SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led a $400 million funding round for the fintech company, now bringing its value to $2 billion. Others that participated in the round include Sequoia Capital China, Redpoint China, Source Code Capital, Softbank Ventures Asia, DragonBall Capital and 3W Capital.
Opay — a one-stop payment platform for consumers’ everyday needs founded in 2018 — previously raised two funding rounds back in 2019 with a $50 million Series A and $120 million Series B, TechCrunch shares. According to an emailed statement from OPay Chief Executive Officer Yahui Zhou, the hope is that the new funding will help the company “be the power that helps emerging markets reach a faster economic development.”
“We believe our investment will help the company extend its offering to adjacent markets,” said Kentaro Matsui — a SoftBank Group Corp. managing director and former managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers — in a statement, “and replicate its successful business model in Egypt and other countries in the region.”
To date, Opay’s latest fundraise is one of the largest among African investments as of lately following behind payments startup Flutterwave — which reached a $1 billion plus valuation this year — and e-commerce giant Jumia. TechCrunch reports that these three companies make up three out of the five billion-dollar tech companies based in Africa.
With monthly transaction values exceeding $3 billion, according to Bloomberg, Opay is moving toward a mission that will help replace cash and other traditional payment methods to better “improve financial and information security” for local governments in Africa. While it continues its pursuit to expand across the continent, the startup will also focus on setting up shop in the Middle East as well.
For more information about Opay, visit its website.