Opay raises $400m to become Nigeria’s newest unicorn in funding round led by Softbank

Nigerian fintech company, Opay has raised an outstanding $400 million in its latest funding round. The investment, which makes Opay Africa’s next unicorn with a $2 billion valuation, was led by Softbank in what is the Japanese venture company’s first foray into Africa.

According to Opay, this round was supported by China’s Sequoia Capital, the venture arm of China’s food delivery company, Dragonball Capital, Redpoint China, Sourcecode Capital, Softbank Ventures Asia and 3W Capital.

We reported in May that the Nigerian payments company was looking to raise $400 million. While that kind of investment was likely to accord it Unicorn status, the company surpassed its expected valuation of $1.5 billion at the time.

This feat makes Opay only the fifth Unicorn in Africa alongside Interswitch, Jumia, Fawry and Flutterwave. It also becomes the fourth Nigerian unicorn.

Speaking on the latest funding, Opay CEO, Yahui Zhou said the company is focused on helping emerging markets reach a faster economic development. “We want to be the power that helps emerging markets reach a faster economic development,” he told Bloomberg.

Opay raises $400m to become Africa's newest unicorn in funding round led by Softbank
Opay has over 300 million agents in Nigeria

This latest investment brings the total funding raised by the Lagos-based company to $570 million. But competing in the Nigerian market hasn’t been easy with Opay which developed a strategy of playing in different markets to drive adoption of its fintech solution, suddenly found itself struggling to keep up.

But the company said its monthly transaction volume now exceeds $3 billion. It also boasts over 300,000 agents and more than 5 million users across Nigeria. But the startup is also eyeing expansion into other African markets as well as the Middle East and Softbank hopes this investment will help drive that expansion.

“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,” SoftBank Group Managing Director, Kentaro Matsui said.

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