Spanish Banking Group BBVA Just Snapped Up a Finnish Fintech Startup
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The Spanish banking group BBVA(BBVA) has bought Holvi, a Finnish financial technology startup that provides online banking and financial planning services for small businesses.
It said the purchase, along with others in recent years, would help it transform into a more digitally savvy banking group.
Helsinki-based Holvi pitches itself as a bank for “makers and doers” — it allows entrepreneurs and teams to set up business accounts in a few minutes, and offers services such as invoicing, receipt-scanning and bookkeeping. It’s also preparing to launch a MasterCard(MA) card in April.
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BBVA said Monday that Holvi, the price for which it did not disclose, will continue to run as a standalone business.
“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,” BBVA new digital businesses chief Teppo Paavola said.
Last year, BBVA took a 29.5% stake in U.K.-based mobile-only bank Atom, and the year before that it bought the U.S. banking service Simple (which is quite similar to Holvi, only it’s for U.S. rather than European customers and focuses on consumers rather than businesses).
In an email to its users, Holvi said it was now “supercharged with more knowledge, more resources and more ambition.” The company said it would remain in Finland, but “might start having more paella during our lunches.”
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