BBVA Keeps It Simple; Ezetap, mCASH Rake in Funding (Feb. 25, 2014)
Spanish financial services group BBVA has announced it is acquiring Paybefore Award-winning Simple, the Portland-Ore.-based digital banking company founded in 2009, for $117 million. Simple, which offers a Simple Visa card, iOS and Android apps, integrated savings tools and customer service, has more than 100,000 customers across the U.S., according to the announcement. The company will operate separately, under its same brand and will continue to be led by co-founders CEO Joshua Reich and Shamir Karkal, chief financial officer.
“Simple will reinforce our global digital transformation while BBVA will provide the means to help Simple maximize its outstanding growth potential,” said Francisco Gonzalez, BBVA chairman and CEO. The acquisition follows BBVA’s recent investments, including in Berlin-based m-POS startup SumUp and Ribbit Capital, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm.
In related news, m-POS maker Ezetap Mobile Solutions has received Series B funding in the U.S. equivalent of $8 million from a group of investors led by venture fund Helion Venture Partners, according to a report in The Economic Times in India. Nearly 12,000 Ezetap devices are being used across Southeast Asia and Africa, and Ezetap co-founder Abhijit Bose said the funding will be used to increase growth in those markets.
Also, Norwegian mobile banking solution provider mCASH recently raised NOK 43 million (US$7.1 million) in Series A funding, led by Northzone and Entrée Capital, according to reports. The mCASH mobile payments service could be launched as early as this month.