Opera to acquire digital bank Fjord Bank

Browser provider Opera is looking to buy challenger bank Fjord Bank in a bid to further accelerate Opera’s European FinTech operations.

The deal is pending approval from regulators, but the Norwegian tech company hopes it will help it launch new, disruptive services aimed at improving consumers’ personal finances.

This is hardly Opera’s first foray into the FinTech space. Opera acquired Estonian digital wallet company PocoSys in January this year. The internet search engine also founded the African FinTech OPay back in 2018. OPay bagged $120m in an investment round in November 2019.

It’s against this background that Opera is now planning to acquire Fjord Bank, which is launching its first deposit and loan service in Lithuania during the summer of 2020.

The deal was finalised at the end of May, which saw Opera acquire 9.9% interest in 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.

“Opera has been making innovative browsers and apps for 25 years,” said Krystian Kolondra, EVP at Opera. “Our browsers are the personal choice of millions of people who prefer them over those that come preinstalled on their devices. 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.”

“We are looking forward to joining the Opera family, and accelerating its plans to grow its unique product offering”, said Veiko Kandla, CEO of Fjord Bank. “With the support of Opera, we are also excited to launch our first banking services in Lithuania this summer.”

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