J.P. Morgan buys 48.5% stake in Greek FinTech Viva Wallet
By Gloria Methri
J.P. Morgan has acquired a 48.5 percent stake in Greece-based FinTech Viva Wallet, with a €100 million cash injection. This comes after minority shareholders Hedosophia (24 percent), the Latsis family (13 percent), and Deca (10 percent) agreed to the sale of their shares to J.P. Morgan.
Viva Wallet’s founders Haris Karonis and Makis Antypas maintain the majority stake of 51 percent and will continue to oversee the company’s operation.
As part of the transaction, J.P. Morgan will be converting Viva Wallet’s Convertible Loan Note, helping the start-up eliminate its debt.
The first news of the deal emerged in January 2022, when the Sales and Purchase agreement was signed between the two companies. The sale was approved by Greek regulatory authorities in September 2022. The deal meant that Viva Wallet, which identifies itself as a cloud-based neobank, would become the first unicorn in Greece.
Viva Wallet has a presence in 24 European countries, providing services in 19 different languages, and payments in 10 currencies. It is an official member of Visa and MasterCard. Viva Wallet provides card acceptance services through its POS application, add-on Google Play devices, and advanced payment systems in online stores.
In 2020, Viva Wallet had revenues of €44 million, which almost tripled in size to around €130 million in 2021. The company’s Share Option Plan remains a key driver for growth. At least 35,000 shares of $50 million will be distributed to 200 Viva Wallet employees. New and future employees will also have the opportunity to become part of a new Share Option Plan.
In November 2022, the Greek FinTech partnered with Klarna to help merchants meet the shoppers’ demand for more flexible payment alternatives. Back in September 2022, Viva Wallet’s French division enabled their merchant network to accept CB payments. In May 2022, the company enabled merchants across Europe to accept Discover, Diners Club, and network alliance cards.
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December 08, 2023