Santander InnoVentures gets another $100m for fintech investment
Santander InnoVentures, the fintech venture capital fund of Santander Group, has secured a further $100 million in funding from the group’s balance sheet.
Launched in 2014, Santander says the fund is now set to deploy a total of $200 million (up from the $100m originally allocated) in minority stakes in fintech start-ups.
Santander says this “highlights” its goal of remaining at the “forefront of innovation in the financial services industry, and builds on the bank’s ‘Fintech 2.0’ philosophy of collaboration and partnership with small and start-up companies”.
Ana Botín, group executive chairman of Banco Santander, says: “The fund’s base in the UK has allowed it to benefit from London’s position as a fintech hub, while talent-spotting our investments on a global basis. Santander remains committed to the UK and excited about its fintech enterprises.”
Since inception, Santander says the fund has already invested globally in a series of start-ups: Socure (digital identity), SigFig (wealth management), Ripple, Digital Asset, Elliptic (blockchain), Kabbage (companies financing), Cyanogen (mobile ecosystems), MyCheck and iZettle (payments).
According to Santander, the fund provides capital but also access to the “scale” of Santander Group, namely its operations in ten “core markets” in Europe and the Americas and serving more than 120 million customers. Additionally, InnoVentures portfolio companies get access to the group’s experts in areas such as regulation, operations and technology.
It’s been a busy year for Santander.
Santander said it was the “first” UK bank to introduce blockchain for international payments through a new app. It is currently being rolled out as a staff pilot, with the intention to expand the technology “at a later date”.
It also said it was the “first” bank in the UK to launch voice banking technology.