Home » Yahui Zhou’s OPay emerges as Africa’s latest unicorn with $2-billion valuation

Yahui Zhou’s OPay emerges as Africa’s latest unicorn with $2-billion valuation

by Ishioma Emi

Africa-focused fintech company OPay has raised $400 million in a new funding round that places its valuation at $2 billion.

OPay is the latest member of Africa’s billionaire unicorn club, which includes Flutterwave, Jumia, Interswitch and Fawry.

The company, which launched in 2018, has moved from being a motorcycle ride-hailing and logistics startup in Lagos, Nigeria, to a financial services company that boasts of processing transactions worth more than $3 billion monthly.

The latest funding round was led by SoftBank VisionFund-2, a Japanese investment firm, and Sequoia Capital China. Also participating in the round were Redpoint China, Source Code Capital, DragonBall Capital and 3W Capital.

“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 Vision Fund Managing Partner Kentaro Matsui said.

OPay is a fintech company owned by Chinese billionaire Yahui Zhou. It is a subsidiary of Opera, a software company based in Norway. 

As of December 2020, Opera reported OPay’s monthly transactions to have grown by 450 percent to $2 billion in the Nigerian market. It processed 80 percent of bank transfers among mobile money operators and 20 percent of non-merchant point of sales transactions.

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