It’s been roughly three months and half since Holvi had the Financial Supervisory Authority ratify its EU-wide permission to expand across Europe; once the approval passed, Holvi was quick to announce their next country of destination, which was also the source of their latest investment, Austria.
As of yesterday, Austria will be joined by 18 other countries.
We had a few chats with Holvi at Arctic15, and while they never gave us the impression of an impossible task, it was clear that the expansion clearance had been somewhat of a bureaucratic nightmare.
However, in the light of Holvi’s latest announcement, it looks like they’re making the most it: yesterday, Holvi revealed its plans to open in 19 European countries, where the company is now inviting new customers. These countries include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.
Holvi also recently announced that it has taken on staff in Ireland, Austria and Spain to strengthen the pan-European presence and to engage more with local communities.
”We are proving our concept and reinventing an industry that hasn’t evolved in the past 15 years.” said Johan Lorenzen, Holvi CEO. “With a Pan-European license we can truly build a modern internet company that brings new business models into banking”.
According to Holvi, traditional banks have been unable to serve small businesses due to their cost structure and business model of hidden fees rather than upfront charges. SME’s and other small time businesses need financial tools to help them build and operate business in the digital economy, where traditional paper processes and payment systems just don’t fit in. To address this issue, Holvi allows individuals or groups a transparent online banking service, where rather than running into complicated fees with a simple bank account, Holvi charges a small fee per transaction.
“We manage our event finances in Holvi, from ticket sales to invoicing sponsors and handling our over a million euro budget.” said Miki Kuusi, Main Organiser at Slush, Northern Europe’s biggest startup conference. ”Holvi is a great product.”
In the past Holvi has had a messaging problem where the average Finnish startup follower knew it was some sort of new banking system, but was it a ticket sales service, a webshop, or an invoicing tool? Or all of those? Such is the problem with a company trying to redefine an old industry like banking, but with no obvious flagships around, the pan-European launch will hopefully clarify the mission for the company so they can clearly introduce themselves to the entirely new markets they’re about to enter.
We’ll be closely following how Holvi’s “unprecedented move [that’s] changing the rules of an entire industry” will go on.