African fintech OPay valued at $2B in SoftBank Vision Fund 2-led $400M funding – TechCrunch

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Chinese language-backed and Africa-focused fintech firm OPay raised $400 million in new financing led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Bloomberg reported Monday, valuing the corporate at $2 billion.

The spherical, which marks the Fund’s first funding in an African startup, drew participation from present buyers like Sequoia Capital China, Redpoint China, Source Code Capital, and Softbank Ventures Asia. Different buyers, together with DragonBall Capital and 3W Capital, additionally took half in the new financing spherical.

This news comes three months after The Info reported that the corporate was in talks to lift “as much as $400 million at a $1.5 billion valuation” from a bunch of Chinese language buyers. The new financing additionally comes two years after OPay introduced two funding rounds in 2019 — $50 million in June and a $120 million Series B in November.

In an emailed assertion, OPay CEO Yahui Zhou stated OPay “desires to be the power that helps rising markets attain a quicker financial growth.” The corporate, based in 2018, had an unique presence in Nigeria earlier than final yr.

Whereas the corporate began with offering clients with digital companies in their on a regular basis life from mobility and logistics to e-commerce and fintech at low-cost charges, these tremendous app plans have been largely underwhelming.

Proper now, it’s the corporate’s mobile cash and fee arm that thrives essentially the most. By merely permitting unbanked and underbanked customers in Nigeria to ship and obtain cash and pay payments by way of a network of hundreds of brokers, OPay has grown at an exponential fee.

The corporate performs in a particularly aggressive fintech market. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation, and with a large share of its people underbanked and unbanked, fintech is essentially the most promising digital sector in the nation. The identical may be stated for the continent as a complete. Cellular cash companies have lengthy catered to the wants of the underbanked. Per GSMA, Africa had greater than 160 million energetic mobile cash customers producing over $495 billion in transaction worth final yr.

Father or mother firm Opera reported that OPay’s month-to-month transactions grew 4.5x to over $2 billion in December final yr. OPay additionally claims to course of about 80% of financial institution transfers amongst mobile cash operators in Nigeria and 20% of the nation’s non-merchant level of gross sales transactions. Final yr, the corporate additionally stated it acquired a global cash switch license with a WorldRemit partnership additionally in the works.

Per Bloomberg, the corporate’s month-to-month transaction volumes exceed $3 billion at the second.

 

Final yr, OPay expanded to Egypt, and in keeping with the corporate, that’s an entry level to the Center East market.

In an announcement, Kentaro Matsui, a managing director at SoftBank Group Corp, stated, “We consider our funding will assist the corporate prolong its providing to adjoining markets and replicate its profitable enterprise mannequin in Egypt and different international locations in the area.”

SoftBank joins a rising listing of high-flying buyers (Dragoneer, Sequoia, SVB Capital, amongst others) which have reduce their first checks in African ventures this yr. Because the continent continues to indicate promise, fintech stays its poster baby. This yr as much as half of the whole investments raised have emerged from the sector; it contributed to greater than 25% final yr.

As well as, fintech has produced essentially the most mega-rounds thus far. TymeBank raised $109 million in February, Flutterwave bagged a $170 million spherical in March, whereas Chipper Money secured $100 million in Might.

OPay’s fundraise is the most important of the lot in phrases of measurement and worth, making it the second African fintech unicorn after Flutterwave and the third African unicorn after e-commerce large Jumia. The three make up the 5 billion-dollar tech corporations on the continent, which incorporates Interswitch and Fawry.

Source : TechCrunch

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