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Report: UniCredit eyes acquisition of BaaS provider Vodeno

Feb 27, 2024
Illustration of a large magnet attracting small bank buildings.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

UniCredit is weighing an acquisition of private equity-backed Banking as a Service provider Vodeno, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Financial institutions are circling cloud-based banking platforms as a way to digitize their operations and extend services to third-party providers.

Context: Vodeno operates a cloud-based platform for retail and banking institutions to offer services like buy now, pay later (BNPL), debit, merchant financing and payments.

  • Warburg Pincus acquired the Polish fintech in early 2018 for an estimated €475 million, according to Pitchbook.
  • Other backers include NatWest Group and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Meanwhile, UniCredit is a pan-European commercial bank serving more than 15 million customers across Italy, Germany, and Central and Eastern Europe.

  • According to the report, UniCredit CEO Andrea Orcel is seeking to streamline his firm's operations through investments in digitalization and technology.

State of play: Consolidation continues in the Banking as a Service sector, which has seen several acquisitions over the last 12 months.

  • Fifth Third bought embedded payments platform Rize Money in early 2023.
  • FIS acquired BaaS startup Bond a few months later.
  • And Visa snapped up Brazilian banking and payments startup Pismo last summer.
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