SoftBank invests in Chinese-founded fintech start-up OPay after Masayoshi Son puts pause on China deals
- OPay was founded in 2017 in Nigeria by Chinese billionaire entrepreneur Zhou Yahui
- The company says it now has 160 million active users and has processed transactions worth US$490 billion
“We are excited to partner with Zhou Yahui and the OPay team,” said SoftBank managing director Kentaro Matsui. “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.”
OPay is one of many Chinese companies, including Huawei Technologies Co, to capitalise on the growing demand from Africa’s unbanked for financial services.
The company’s mobile payment service, launched in 2018, now has 160 million active users in Africa and has processed transactions worth US$490 billion, according to the company.
OPay said it will use the proceeds to strengthen its positions in Nigeria and Egypt, and fuel expansion across the Middle East, where it has seen robust growth in the past five years.
The company has raised a total of US$570 million to date, according to data from PitchBook, a platform that tracks private equity deals.