Holvi will continue to operate as a standalone business but with an established channel of two-way knowledge sharing between it and BBVA. The acquisition is just the latest move by BBVA to continue its ongoing interest in expanding its digital banking portfolio offerings and keeping up with the fast-paced evolution of the banking ecosystem.
“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,” said Teppo Paavola, chief development officer and general manager of New Digital Businesses at BBVA.
Holvi describes its offering as ‘Banking for Makers and Doers’. The company 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. Holvi is an Authorised Payment Institution licensed and regulated by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Finland (FIN-FSA).
“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,” Johan Lorenzen, CEO of Holvi commented.
“Building a banking service from the ground up isn’t the easiest of tasks. And it would not have been possible without the dedication of our own team. The countless hours working on Holvi have shown us that there’s no challenge we can’t solve when we’re in this together,” he added.
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. Furthermore, just last month, the banking giant closed its FinTech venture arm, known as BBVA Ventures. With moving BBVA Ventures in-house, the bank moved the $100 million it had in that fund, along with an additional $150 million, to form an entirely new organization called Propel Venture Partners.