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Spanish banking group BBVA acquires Simple for $117 million in cash

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Simple today announced that it has agreed to be acquired by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) for $117 million in cash. Simple's team of 92 will remain in Portland, where it will be operated independently by current CEO Joshua Reich. "The things you love about Simple will remain unchanged," says Reich. "The biggest change is that now we will have the support of a global banking group with $820 billion in assets that shares our passion for innovative technology and customer experience."

Simple's Bancorp-backed accounts will remain the same for now. "By joining forces with BBVA, we will be able to jointly gain complete end-to-end ownership of the customer experience, from our mobile apps all the way through the core banking stack," says Reich. "This will give us a phenomenal degree of flexibility and control that will enable entirely new innovations."

The deal is a big win for Simple's founders and investors, who had put a total of $15.3 million into the company

Simple hasn't disclosed very many details about its business, but the company's 100,000 customers won't make a huge dent in BBVA's €19 billion business, initially. Simple was acquired to expand BBVA's reach in America, where it only recently started making an impact. After acquiring a handful of American banks in the late 2000s, BBVA gained more notoriety when it became the official bank of the National Basketball Association (the NBA) in 2010. Reich says that the deal will also help Simple reach international markets for the first time with a fresh infusion of funding from BBVA.

The deal is a win for Simple's founders and early investors, but perhaps not for its late-stage backers. A source close to Simple tells The Verge that the company, which had raised $15.3 million, had been shopping itself around in search of a buyer since business wasn't progressing as quickly as it hoped. "They had kind of run out of steam," said the source, but with a big new partner and flush with cash, perhaps Simple will find a second wind.

The Verge
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