Spanish BBVA Acquires Holvi

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) has bought Finnish online business banking startup Holvi, aiming to expand its digital offering.

Helsinki-based Holvi, founded in 2011, provides entrepreneurs alongside small and medium-sized businesses a range of business services as well as traditional banking through its online platform. The service is Authorised Payment Institution licensed and regulated by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Finland (FIN-FSA).

“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,” says Teppo Paavola, the chief development officer and general manager of New Digital Businesses at BBVA, in a statement.

Acquisitions and investments play an important part in BBVA’s digitalization plans. In 2015, the company bought 29.5% of UK’s first mobile-only bank Atom and acquired US-based user experience firm Spring Studio.

“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,” stated Johan Lorenzen, the CEO of Holvi.