Holvi began a new chapter earlier this year after company founder Tuomas Toivonen purchased the startup back from BBVA in February.
Holvi, which provides banking tools for self-employed entreprenuers, was founded in 2011 and debuted on the Finovate stage in 2012. In 2018 the company sold to BBVA, which later launched Holvi’s banking services in the U.K. Nine months after the U.K. launch, the Spanish bank decided to pull out of the region, citing concerns over Brexit.
Sifted reported this week that after Toivonen purchased Holvi from BBVA earlier this year, the startup lost 60% of its customers and saw its staff drop by 50% from 150 employees to just 75. Now, it is more profitable than ever. The company increased monthly revenues by 40% by charging a monthly fee of $7 to $14 for an account.
The reason for the recent success hinges on Holvi’s newfound dexterity as a smaller company. As Toivonen told Sifted, “When you’re an independent company, you of course have more flexibility. And when you’re team-owned and run there is no inertia in decision making. You can make big decisions fast.”
What will those “big decisions” look like in Holvi’s future?
The company tells Sifted it plans to launch a credit card offering to complement its current debit card product. Holvi also disclosed it will launch a receivables financing tool to help entrepreneurs smooth out cash flow when they receive invoice payments late.
Holvi, which was founded in Helsinki, Finland and operates in Germany, Finland, and Austria, doesn’t plan to enter new geographies at the moment. The company may, however, consider re-entry into the U.K. market.
The renewed focus will likely prove successful for Holvi. When the company first launched in 2011, neobanking was a relatively new concept, especially in the commercial banking space. In today’s environment, however, digital neobanks are commonplace. Not only are consumers accustomed to opening a new bank account with a digital-only bank, regulators are also more comfortable with how they operate.