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The Meteoric Rise of a Financial Services Firm Based in Nigeria

In less than three years, OPay has gone from a curious startup known for its motorcycles in Lagos, Nigeria, to a financial services company worth $2 billion. The latest valuation comes after it raised $400 million from a round led by SoftBank, the Japanese investment firm, with Sequoia Capital China, and five other large firms participating. No other startup whose operations are based in Africa has raised as much in one round. Flutterwave achieved a value of $1 billion in March this year, after raising $170 million. OPay’s new valuation makes it the fastest African startup to cross $1 billion in value, even if there’s often a debate about whether it is appropriate to even define it as an African startup, because it is owned by Chinese billionaire Yahui Zhou through Opera, the software company based in Norway.