Atom, the UK's first app-based bank, has raised more than £75m in new equity (around €90m)¹. Together with Toscafund and Infinity Investment Partners, BBVA has led this round, which is still open to other shareholders of the company. BBVA has once again shown its support for the Atom project and team, of which it has been a shareholder since 2015 and which it has supported in all its share capital increases. BBVA is currently the main shareholder, with a 39% holding.
BBVA has reached an agreement to invest $300 million (about €263 million¹) in Neon, a Brazilian digital bank founded in 2016 that aims to improve access to financial services for individuals, self-employed and small businesses in its country. Neon has 15 million registered accounts. The investment takes place in a context of unprecedented technological disruption, with solid growth of digital and innovative models, particularly in financial services. In addition to a clear commitment to innovation, this investment allows BBVA to gain exposure to retail banking in Brazil, a market with one of the highest potential in the world.
Promoting open banking with APIs, retaining digital customers with artificial intelligence and enhancing traceability in logistics with blockchain are the technological solutions devised by five startups that have run pilots with BBVA Open Innovation. Now they are identifying their next steps to tackle the challenges ahead.
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Information and Communication Technologies has gone in this fourteenth edition to Judea Pearl for “bringing a modern foundation to artificial intelligence”. The Professor of Computer Science at the University of California (UCLA), has made contributions that enable AI programs to use two of the key resources we humans use to interpret the world and arrive at decisions: probability and causality.
BBVA will create 200 jobs in two years, with the launch of two technology centers in Bilbao. These centers will have specialized profiles such as computer, telecommunications, systems and industrial engineers, as well as mathematicians.
BBVA has launched a new global software division that brings together more than 16,000 developers across the Group. This new division will speed up delivery of digital solutions and make them more easily scalable across the countries where the bank operates.
Technology will continue to redouble the capacity of digital businesses in 2022 and will bring opportunities to the world to liberalise data, mitigate climate change, look after people's health, advance education and even create parallel universes.
Digitization in the banking sector is increasingly taking on different dimensions. Virtual assistants and chatbots have come to life with the support of artificial intelligence technologies. BBVA’s Turkish unit was a pioneer in the country with the launching of Ugi in 2016 and Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger bots a few years later.