PayTech

Opay Owner, Opera to Acquire Startup Digital Bank

Opay’s Country Manager, Iniabasi Akpan

The owner of Opay mobile banking in Nigeria and the maker of the popular Web browser Opera is to acquire Fjord Bank in Lithuania as part of a plan to expand more broadly into financial services.

Headquartered in Oslo, Opera has a user base of more than 50 million monthly active browsers in Europe and 360 million worldwide.

In January, Opera made it first venture into the fintech space in Europe with the acquisition of the Estonian fintech company PocoSys. Opera is currently testing a new version of the Pocopay card and app ahead of launch in its first European market.

With the acquisition of AB Fjord Bank, Opera will become the owner of a fully digital consumer bank, which is launching its first deposit and loan service in Lithuania during the summer of 2020.

Founded in March 2017 by Norwegian and Swedish investors, Fjord Bank was granted a banking licence by the Bank of Lithuania in December last year.

“Opera has been making innovative browsers and apps for 25 years. Our browsers are the personal choice of millions of people who prefer them over those that come preinstalled on their devices,” says Krystian Kolondra, EVP Opera. “Looking at the fintech space in Europe, we believe it needs more and bigger challengers who should provide people with smarter and empowering solutions for their personal finances.”

Opera first acquired a 9.9% interest in AB Fjord Bank via a share subscription which was completed on 3 July 2020. Completion of the acquisition of the remaining 90.1% of Fjord Bank is pending regulatory approval.