Nigeria’s Opay and PalmPay, S/A’s Yoco only African Companies in CB Insights Top 250 Fintech List for 2020


Nigerian fintech companies, Opay and PalmPay together with South African e-payment company, Yoco are the only African fintechs to feature in CB Insights’ 2020 Fintech Top 250 list.

Data from the 2020 list of top 250 fintechs released by CB Insights reveal that only three (3) fintech companies from Africa made the list.

The 250 fintechs were selected from a pool of 16,000 companies which either applied or were nominated. According to CB Insights, the companies were chosen based on varying factors ranging from mosaic scores to CB Insights’ exclusive algorithm and company business models and market momentum.

Companies in the 2020 Fintech 250 have collectively raised almost $49.2billion in funding from close to 900 deals in a five-year period to date. Grab, a fintech company from Singapore amassed the most funding of about $9.7 billion over a five-year period ending in Q2 2020.

Of the 250 fintech companies listed in CB Insights’ report, fintechs from Africa constituted a paltry 1.2%.

The United States dominated the list with 135 companies out of the 250, followed by the United Kingdom (38) and India (20). Nigeria (2) and South Africa (1) were the only two African countries represented.

Opay Nigeria In Top 100 Most Well-funded Fintechs

Based on the amount of funding investment raised, Opay ranked highest in Africa and 79 in CB Insights’ top 250 list. The electronic payments processing company has secured $170 million in investment funding since 2015. Its biggest investors include Chinna’s Sequoia Capital, IDG Capital, Source Code Capital, GSR Ventures and Meituan Dianping.

Nigeria's Opay and PalmPay Among 3 African Coys in CB Insights Top 250 Fintech
Opay provides e-payment solutions in Nigeria

Africa’s highest-ranked company in terms of funding on the top 250 list, Opay raised only 1.75% of the biggest capital funding ($7.9 billion) secured by Grab in the five-year financial period considered.

116 places below Opay in the funding rank was another Nigerian fintech company, PalmPay. The mobile wallet and remittance company was ranked 195, having raised $40 million in funding in the five-year period ending 2020.

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PalmPay’s $40 million funding is less than a quarter of the $170 million capital raised by Opay, which shows a wide funding gap between the two Nigerian companies. NetEase, MediaTek and Transsion Holdings were among PalmPay’s top investors.

South Africa’s Yoco Among Least-funded Fintechs in Bottom 50

While Nigeria’s Opay and PalmPay ranked in the top 200 places, South African payments service platform, Yoco ranked in the bottom 50.

The company ranked 230 in terms of funding secured since 2015. According to the report, Yoco raised an aggregate $22 million investment capital from major investors including Partech Partners, Greyhound Capital, FMO, Quona Capital, Orange Digital Ventures.

Yoco’s $22 million funding received is just over half of PalmPay’s, and $148 million short of the amount raised by Opay.


Although many fintech companies in Africa have continued to grow at an impressive rate, only a few are able to earn and sustain international recognition.

The tiny percentage of African fintechs represented in CB Insights top 250 shows that fintechs on the continent must further leverage global technologies, expand their markets and seek to close the huge funding gap that exists between them and their foreign counterparts.

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