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Italian digital bank Illimity buys 50% stake in Banca Sella-owned open banking platform HYPE

The €140m deal will see the two banks pour resources into the open banking platform to accelerate its adoption across Italy.

a man in a suit smiling

Corrado Passera/Illimity.

Fabrick, part of the Banca Sella Group and current owner of 100 per cent of open banking platform HYPE, has sold a 50 per cent stake of the platform to Italian digital bank Illimity.  

The deal, which is worth around €140m, is the first of its kind in Italy and will see the two banks build the largest open banking platform in the country.  

Corrado Passera, founder and CEO of Illimity, said: “The digital financial services world is evolving fast. Technology, user experience, economies of scale and, above all, how quickly they can be achieved are crucial success factors.” 

“Just as in the direct digital banking segment, Illimity has strongly innovated and will continue to do so by expanding its field of action, in the non-banking segment we were delighted to take this opportunity to partner with the Italian leader to become a true industry benchmark,” he added. 

As part of the deal, Illimity will integrate its recently developed open banking solutions into HYPE to help Fabrick enable open banking on its own platform. 

Pietro Sella, CEO of the Sella Group and chairman of Fabrick, said: “We have always affirmed and believed that open innovation and open banking are the paths to innovate financial services; with this agreement, we arrest the ability and effectiveness of the new rules of the game with the aim of creating the first Italian challenger bank with Illimity.” 

HYPE, which already has over 1.3m customers in Italy, will now have access to technology from both banks and will be able to accelerate its development plans, hoping to reach 3m customers in the next few years. 

Antonio Valitutti, CEO of HYPE, added: “HYPE has experienced extraordinary growth because it has been able to capture new needs and has enjoyed the freedom and ability to do what it needed to respond with innovative service.” 

"I am sure the development phase that we will enter now, will enable us to unleash more energy and contribute to the growth of the Italian and European fintech ecosystem."

Valitutti will spearhead the joint venture, and Carlo Panella, head of the direct bank division at Illimity, will step into the role of chairman. 

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