BBVA today announces the acquisition of Holvi, the Helsinki-based online business banking service, as it seeks to expand its portfolio of digital businesses to complement the Group’s overall transformation process.
Holvi, which was founded in 2011, and describes its offering as ‘Banking for Makers and Doers’, provides entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized businesses with a range of business services as well as traditional banking through its online platform. These include an online sales platform, an invoicing facility and a cashflow tracker. It will continue to be run as a stand-alone business, and there will be a two-way flow of knowledge, ideas and support between Holvi and BBVA. Holvi is an Authorised Payment Institution licensed and regulated by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Finland (FIN-FSA).
Teppo Paavola, chief development officer and general manager of New Digital Businesses at BBVA said: “We’re excited about Holvi as we share a vision about the benefit of technology for the customer. They use digital to bring a new approach to small business banking, where services essential to a business’ future such as invoicing are built into their core offer.”
Johan Lorenzen, CEO of Holvi commented: “We’ve found the ideal owner in BBVA – a bank with the understanding of the digital world to give us the necessary room to grow, and then the scale and expertise to underpin that growth with sound foundations.”
Acquisitions and investments play an important part in providing the digital expertise to deliver BBVA’s plans. In 2015, it agreed to take a strategic 29.5% stake in Atom, the UK’s first mobile-only bank, and acquired leading West Coast user experience firm Spring Studio. In 2014 BBVA purchased big data and cloud-computing startup Madiva Soluciones, and Portland, Oregon based Simple, a tech company that’s changing the way people bank and think about money in the US. BBVA is also an investor in new venture capital partnership Propel, which is looking to take stakes in startups that are changing financial services through technology.
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