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BBVA sells Holvi to co-founder

BBVA sells Holvi to co-founder

Spanish banking giant BBVA has sold Holvi to an investment firm set up by one of the Finnish fintech's founders. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

BBVA has sold all Holvi shares to Keru Fintech Investments, which was established by Holvi co-founder Tuomas Toivonen for the purpose of the acquisition.

Holvi, which provides banking accounts for sole traders and small businesses, will continue to operate to in its core markets, notably Finland and Germany. Customers "can continue to use the service as normal".

Toivonen is taking on the CEO role with immediate effect, replacing Antti-Jussi Suominen, who has agreed to step down.

Founded in Helsinki in 2011, Holvi was acquired by BBVA in 2016. By 2019 it had built up a client base of 150,000 micro-businesses in Germany, Austria and Finland and set out plans to expand across the continent.

However, last August it pulled out the UK just six months after launch, citing Brexit and Covid-19.

Says Toivonen: "This step marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Holvi and brings us closer to our entrepreneurial roots and our customers.

"With the knowledge we have gained from BBVA’s support over the past few years, and the commitment of our experienced team, we are well positioned to continue our mission of simplifying the working lives of the self-employed."

Lat month, BBVA's American arm decided to shut down Simple, the neobank it acquired in 2014, ahead of its own acquisition by PNC.

However, the Spanish bank is still committed to investing in fintech players, pledging today to pump another $150 million into its venture fund Propel.

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