BBVA Deepens FinTech Pockets With Online-Only Bank Buy


Spanish banking firm BBVA announced Monday (March 7) the acquisition of Finnish banking startup Holvi to help expand its digital business footprint.

The Helsinki-based online business banking service provides small and medium-sized businesses with business services, as well as traditional banking, through an online-only platform. Holvi will continue to operate as a standalone business but with an established channel of two-way knowledge sharing between it and BBVA, a statement confirmed.

“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, said in a press release.

The FinTech acquisition is just the latest move by BBVA to continue its ongoing interest in growing its digital banking portfolio offerings and keeping up with the fast-paced evolution of the banking ecosystem.

Teppo Paavola, chief development officer and GM of new digital businesses at BBVA, added: “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.”

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.