NEW YORK - The valuation of OPay, one of Africa’s largest fintech startups operating in Nigeria and Egypt, has risen to nearly $3 billion, according to Opera, the Chinese-owned Norwegian technology company that was one of its early investors.

In a securities filing to the US SEC, Opera said the revised valuation follows an increase in its holding from 6.4% to 9.3% last year and in the fintech’s performance metrics, notably a four-fold increase in customer base in 2023. Opera said it expects OPay’s revenue to grow at an annualized rate of 35% between 2023 and 2030.

OPay’s products in Nigeria, its largest market, are a bank account for faster online money transfers than traditional banks provide, and a point-of-sale device that enables vendors to accept card payments and offer cash withdrawals to customers. Nigeria’s botched currency redesign last year accelerated OPay’s growth as a major player in the country’s financial services ecosystem.

The fintech giant was valued at $2 billion in 2021 when it raised $400 million in a round led by SoftBank, with the participation of investors including Sequoia Capital China. It has remained one of Africa’s most valuable startups in the years since, drawing closer to Flutterwave’s February 2022 valuation of $3 billion.

Opera’s increased stake in OPay came via a transaction to buy the majority of the Asian business of Nanobank, a lender that Opera partly owned. Opera had held its OPay shares as “for sale” since 2021 until last December, signaling a change in perception of OPay’s prospects, including greater possibility of an initial public offering in the near future.