Atom and BBVA

24 November 2015

Inside Atom

Mark Mullen

Atom and BBVA

Capital raise over and £135m raised, we’re one step closer to launch

By any standards Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, better known as BBVA, is a big bank. Some 158 years old, it’s the second largest bank in Spain but it also offers banking services further afield, most notably in North and South America and in Turkey.

BBVA has agreed to invest £45m in Atom to acquire a 29.50% stake in the business. Throughout our journey we’ve already been fortunate to have the support of some highly respected and committed shareholders. Investors like Woodford and Toscafund have already been tremendously helpful and they remain committed to Atom.

We’re excited by BBVA’s decision to invest in Atom, an excitement that’s about more than money. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of money and of course the money is important but it’s only one of the things we need to help us build our business. BBVA has lots of banking experience and they also have access to considerable financial and material resources, but the real reasons we are enthusiastic about this deal are much, much simpler.

First up, they get what we are tying to achieve here in Atom (because as far as we can tell they’re trying to do something similar themselves) and second, we really like their people. We feel that we share a vision with BBVA. One that says the power of technology can be used to transform people’s lives for the better and if we can use it that way, we can change banks and banking for good. We also feel that we share a culture and although culture covers many areas, for me at least it’s mostly about people. We have found the people at BBVA to be direct, straightforward, consistent, open and optimistic.

There’s lots more nice things I could add but that’ll do for now. We felt that we could learn from them and vice versa, they could learn from us. In short, we felt that we could be proper partners.

We’ll keep you posted as the partnership develops but for now, we’re just excited to have BBVA with us for the next stage of our journey.