Greece’s startup financial firm “Viva Wallet,” one of the so-called “neo-banks” making inroads with small businesses, has raised a total of $80 million in financing to expand its footprint as well as the services it offers.
These smaller financial institutions continue to make waves in financial markets across the world, with their nimbleness making it easier for them to allow their customers to bank online and use a range of new technologies.
These smaller firms also allow for more personalization in the relationship between the bank and the customers it serves.
Viva Wallet, aimed toward servicing small and medium-sized merchants, will now be able to expand its Merchant Advance loans portfolio.
Viva Wallet soon to be a presence in 26 European countries
It is already operating in twenty-three European countries and has expansion plans for Croatia, Hungary and Sweden.
The move to fund the startup is garnering attention because of who is investing in it, according to experts. Tencent, the Chinese technology behemoth that is part of WeChat, has contributed, as well as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Danying Ma, MD of Tencent Investment, stated “Tencent shares Viva Wallet’s aspirations of creating value for users and partners through innovation. We look forward to supporting Viva Wallet in its expansion across Europe.”
In addition, Hedosophia, the little-known fund that has dabbed in SPACs in the United States, is also in the mix, according to a report from Techcrunch.com.
Breyer Capital is also a contributor of funds to the startup. Jim Breyer said in a statement after the announcement “We are very excited to help Viva Wallet unify the fragmented European payments ecosystem across 23 countries. Viva Wallet is at the forefront of a paradigm shift for fintech and together, we expect to transform the payments industry in Europe.”
New legal entity would hold loans for Viva Wallet
Yannis Larios, Viva Wallet’s Vice President of strategy and business development, confirmed to Techcrunch that the firm is in the process of closing a large Series D that will value the company at €1.5 billion ($1.8 billion).
Although he would not disclose the actual value of the company at present, it is now seen as a formidable presence in its field.
The VP stated in the report that when his firm closed its Series C in the second half of 2019, it had a valued of €305 million ($368,985,950).
At this point it is unknown if this Series D is the same as a €500 million ($603 million) round of investment that Viva Wallet raised, according to a Reuters report in August 2020, which was meant to enable it to build a type of loan book centered on its Merchant Advances and other such loans.
If the deal is approved by…