The Berlin-based start-up Vivid, which operates a finance app, receives its first own investment license and thus becomes a bit more independent of partner banks. However, the company still does not hold its own banking license.
On the way to becoming a financial super-app?
The investment license was granted by the Dutch supervisory authority. The company itself sees the granting of the license as a milestone: “The official permission to offer investment services independently is an important step for Vivid on its way to becoming a financial super app.”
The company’s concept is quite simple: in one app, it combines offers of traditional banking with investment opportunities that include cryptocurrencies in addition to stocks and funds. In this sense, Vivid sees itself as an all-in-one app. For payment transactions outside the digital space, the company issues a Visa debit card in cooperation with Solaris Bank, which is linked to the current account managed in the app. Vivid is dependent on the cooperation with Solaris Bank, as the start-up itself does not have a banking license. In addition to the services described above, the offering has recently also included an installment payment service, which goes by the name Vivid Now.
Competition for N26
Vivid is currently the biggest competitor for N26, which is also aiming to make all banking and investment transactions transactable through an app, and announced earlier this year that it would soon enable cryptocurrency trading. In total, Vivid currently has around 500,000 customers. More than half of them live in Germany. In addition, Vivid competes with direct banks as well as broker apps. In order to survive in this competitive market, the company last raised money in February as part of an investment round. Around 100 million euros were raised at that time. Vivid is currently valued at 775 million euros.
However, the financial scene has come under strong pressure in recent months, which, in addition to the oversaturation of the market, can also be attributed to falling share prices, increasing inflation and the associated decline in interest in investment products. The crypto bank Nuri, for example, recently had to file for bankruptcy. Nevertheless, Vivid remains optimistic: “For us it is […] exactly the right time to invest in this area, because the interest in shares, funds and other investment products is unbroken.”