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JP Morgan makes 49 per cent "strategic investment" in Greek fintech Viva Wallet

Although financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, Viva Wallet is said to be valued at more than $2bn and JP Morgan is said to be investing more than £1.15bn into the Athens-based fintech.

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JP Morgan has made a 49 per cent “strategic investment” in Greek cloud-based payment firm Viva Wallet, as its investment in fintech continues apace.

The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

According to Reuters, Viva Wallet is valued at more than $2bn and JP Morgan is investing more than $1.15bn into the Athens-based fintech.

Viva Wallet, founded in 2000, has a presence in over 20 European markets and offers services including digital debit cards, business accounts and cloud-based payments for small businesses.

In 2020, it launched Apple Pay and Google Pay across 18 countries.

It is also an approved payment company for London’s black taxis.

The deal was first rumoured in November last year, with the US bank one of several companies considering buying or partnering with Viva Wallet.

The move by JP Morgan marks its latest investment in the fintech sector, as it looks to invest in nimble startups to bolster its position in the market.

The stake will be acquired from Viva Wallet’s minority shareholders, which includes the British fund Hedosophia.

“We are very excited to make a strategic investment in Viva Wallet to support their vision to empower new growth and payments innovation targeted at European small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and middle market merchant services clients,” said Takis Georgakopoulos, global head of JP Morgan Payments. 

“The European payments landscape is fragmented yet large in terms of opportunity, with more than 17 million merchants1 ready to implement scalable payments solutions and this is a big focus area for added growth for J.P. Morgan Payments in the future."

“This strategic investment from JP Morgan’s Payments business will enable us to complete the build out of our vision to deliver fully localized payments and transactions services to SMBs across Europe,” said Haris Karonis, CEO and co-founder of Viva Wallet.

In January the US banking giant laid out plans to spend more than $12bn on technology in 2022.

Last year, it agreed to buy UK-based digital wealth manager Nutmeg for around £700m and has also shelled out more than $1bn to acquire a 40 per cent stake in Brazilian digital bank C6.

It has also made investments in several smaller fintechs and in September this year launched its new digital banking brand Chase in the UK in a bid to take on the likes of Monzo and Starling Bank at their own game.

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