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Opay hits $2 billion Unicorn valuation after raising $400,000,000 led by Softbank

Writer: Joan Aimuengheuwa

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Opera OPay
OPay agent

Led by SoftBank Vision Fund, a venture capital firm in the United Kingdom, Nigerian fintech company, OPay, has raised $400 million in its recent funding round, boosting the company’s valuation to $2 billion, and its total investments to $570 million since launch.

While this is SoftBank Vision Fund’s first investment in an African startup, other existing investors who took part in the round were VCs already investing in African startups.

They include Sequoia Capital China, DragonBall Capital, Redpoint China, Source Code Capital, SoftBank Ventures Asia, and 3W Capital.

The funding round comes three months after Opay announced its plans to raise $400 million at a valuation of $1.5 million from a group of Chinese investors.

Built on a goal to become the engine behind the rapid development of emerging markets, OPay is a mobile-based platform for payment, transportation, food and grocery delivery, among other services.

Its digital technology is built to replace cash payments, making it possible for local governments to improve financial and information security.

The startup has raised over $500 million since its founding date in August 2018. Just in 2019, the startup raised $50 million and $120 million Series B. With a network of 300,000 agents, its month-on-month transaction volume currently exceeds $3 billion, and it has a record of five million registered users leveraging its app.

Prior to the ban on motorcycles by the Nigerian government in Lagos state last year, Opay offered ride-hailing and logistics services, but the former was closed down after the ban policy was activated.

During the coronavirus pandemic which led to a lockdown last year, the company interestingly witnessed tremendous growth. Its gross transactions rose over four times in value, giving the company over $2 billion at the end of the year.

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Having established an office in North Africa, a shop precisely in Egypt, OPay plans to expand to other African countries, such as South Africa and Kenya, with a focus on the Middle East.

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