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Opera raises its ownership of the African neo-bank OPay.


After selling Nanobank for $127 million in 2022, Opera, a Norwegian consumer internet brand, has raised its share in the Africa-focused neo-bank OPay from 6.4% to 9.5%.

Opera used to own 42% of Nanobank, which was made when Opera’s microlending business and Mobimagic’s point-of-sale business joined together.

In 2022, Opera sold its share of Nanobank for $127.1 million in cash, which it got in eight quarterly payments. But the company and the third-party buyer paid Opera back for the sale of Nanobank with OPay shares instead of the cash payments that would have been made every three months until Q2 2026.

By taking OPay shares instead of cash, Opera gained $35.9 million less than what its investment in Nanobank was worth on paper. This suggests that the internet brand will be worth $76.3 million by the end of 2022.

Opera listed its OPay ownership as “held for sale,” saying that “OPay continued its strong growth trajectory through 2022, giving us comfort in the eventual marketability of our increased ownership stake.”

Opera Norway AS Group started OPay in 2018. Opera Norway AS Group is owned by Kunlun Tech Co., Ltd., listed in Shenzhen. Opera’s decision to extend its investment in OPay may seem strange as the company had raised $570 million in funding rounds, which could have made Opera’s holding in the company much less.

But the company was last valued at $2 billion, and Opera thinks it will be easy to sell its more significant share of the company in the future because OPay is still growing. The other conditions of the equity transfer were not made public; therefore, it is impossible to know how much the deal was worth.




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