BBVA continues its acquisition spree bringing Simple on board for USD117m

BBVAventures

US-based digital banking start-up Simple has been acquired by Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentina (BBVA) for USD117m in cash.

Simple will continue to operate as a separate business within BBVA alongside its other US operations such as BBVA Compass. CEO and founder Joshua Reich will remain at the helm and his strong technology background will prove valuable.

Spotting an opportunity in light of widespread public disenchantment with the banks in 2008, Reich pitched the concept of Simple to co-founder Shamir Karkal almost half a decade ago. He believed they could build a bank that, in the words of CTO Alex Payne; “Doesn’t suck”.

Simple now lays claim to over 100,000 customers with around USD1.7m in transactions. Reich explains reasons behind this new move in a blog post:  “Working with BBVA gives us the resources, scale, and autonomy we need to accelerate our growth while staying true to our mission.”

It is these resources which will enable Simple to expand its team of 92. “We are entering an incredibly exciting time at Simple where we have the long-term resources and support to continue building a new global brand in banking. I am thrilled to begin this journey with our new partner!” he continues.

It looks as if BBVA is continuing its strategy of acquiring disruptive initiatives in the financial services space through its BBVA ventures arms. The Simple investment follows acquisitions such as SumUp the major mPOS player and financial technology VC fund, Ribbit Capital.

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