Simple, the Alternative to Big Banks, Was Just Acquired by a Big Bank

Everybody's favorite start up bank is no longer a startup. Simple has been acquired by BBVA, a massive multinational banking group with $820 billion in assets, for $117 million in cash. So say goodbye to your dream of future-forward, independent banking folks. Say goodbye.

As companies tend to do when they're acquired, Simple says that the acquisition will only make its service better, in part because BBA will put "a significant amount of capital" into the venture. Simple founder and CEO Joshua Reich will remain at the helm of the company, which will keep its board of directors. The online-only bank will also remain headquartered in Portland, Oregon, despite now being owned by Spain's second largest bank.

And that's exactly why this deal makes so much sense for Simple. BBVA and its mountains of money will enable them to grow more quickly and to win more international customers. Reich bragged to VentureBeat that BBVA has "a long history of partnering with banks around the world, [and] they're huge in Latin America and a number of regions." Simple already has over 100,000 users, some 330 percent more than it had last year. But BBVA's footprint in 40 countries can only make those numbers grow.

It's worth mentioning that Simple wasn't exactly completely independent before the BBVA acquisition. Simple maintained a close partnership with The Bancorp, a self-described "private-label banking and technology" company, as well as Visa and Allpoint, America's largest surcharge-free ATM network. It's so far unclear what will happen to those partnerships now that Simple is pals with The Man.

It's also worth mentioning that Simple is awesome. It's been my primary bank for over a year now, and I love everything about it, from the slick mobile interface to the friendly folks in Portland who help me out when I call in with a problem. This acquisition is certainly exciting news for Simple whose founders just entered a new tax bracket. Whether it's exciting for customers like me remains to be seen. [VentureBeat]