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Japan fintech unicorn Opn to buy U.S. payments company MerchantE

Startup's $357m deal will help fuel expansion into markets outside Asia

Opn has attained unicorn status and is backed by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and a subsidiary of Toyota Motor. (Photo courtesy of Opn)

TOKYO -- Tokyo-based Opn, an electronic payment startup, will acquire U.S. peer MerchantE in a deal worth about 50 billion yen ($357 million), making it the largest acquisition of a foreign company by a Japanese startup.

Opn's main business is in Southeast Asia and the acquisition will allow it entry into the U.S. market. The company is also eyeing future expansions into Europe and South America. With an economic slowdown hitting the U.S. tech sector, Japanese startups are finding fresh opportunities abroad.

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