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BBVA-backed Holvi announces plan to expand in Europe

The Finnish startup is to expand to Ireland, Italy, Belgium, France and the Netherlands as demand for its small business current account service increases. The firm has already reached its 150,000 micro business customers milestone.


Holvi, the small business current account for the ‘everyday entrepreneur’, has today announced plans to expand to five new Eurozone markets following a period of rapid growth.

The Finnish startup, acquired by global bank BBVA in 2016, has been offering business banking for micro businesses in Germany, Austria and Finland for over three years. It now covers over 150,000 micro businesses across Europe.

However, following 60% year-on-year growth from 2017 to 2018, Holvi will be expanding its footprint in the Eurozone, focusing on Ireland, Italy, Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

Holvi’s product has proved particularly popular in Germany - with 40% of customer growth in 2018 driven by this market alone. Holvi’s customer base outside Finland already exceeds its home market customer base.

Holvi is designed for everyday entrepreneurs - from yoga teachers, to freelancers to consultants, gig-economy workers and small family-run businesses. The bank gives everyday entrepreneurs the tools they need to easily manage their business finances. It combines banking and a Mastercard with smart business tools allowing the micro-business to set up their account fully digitally, send easily professional-looking invoices and categorise their expenses for bookkeeping.

In addition, in some markets Holvi has integrated with the leading accounting agencies and software solutions to allow for easy-to-use bookkeeping exports.

Across the Eurozone, there is a growing demand for small business banking as traditional financial institutions have historically not successfully served this segment of the market.

With its pan-European footprint Holvi now claims to be the leading business banking solution for everyday entrepreneurs in Europe.  It is authorised to operate across the European Economic Area (EEA) under the Payment Services Directive by the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA).

The company was co-founded by Tuomas Toivonen and Mikko Teerenhovi in 2011 with  Antti-Jussi Suominen joining Holvi as CEO in January 2017. In 2016, Holvi was acquired by BBVA, to bolster its expansion plans through strategic support through at board level, access to resources, knowledge and network, in addition to finance. With the backing of a major financial institution and a continued focus and deep understanding of the market, the business says it is now set for a period of rapid growth - and cites as an example how over the past three years the team has grown from ten people to around 100 people.

Commenting on the company’s expansion plans, Holvi CEO, Antti-Jussi Suominen said: “2019 is set to be an exciting year for Holvi. Having become the leading business banking service for microentrepreneurs in our home market of Finland, and rapidly growing in Austria and Germany, we are setting our sights on the rest of Europe.

We have continued to iterate and expand our product offering, and are really pleased with the positive response from our existing customers. Taking the product to new customers across the Eurozone and helping the everyday entrepreneur to succeed is now our focus and priority.”