ING launches €300m fintech fund, ING Ventures
ING Ventures, a new investment fund set up by ING, has €300 million to pump into fintech companies.
“To accelerate the pace of innovation, one of ING’s strategic priorities, ING Ventures will expand the existing portfolio of investments in the coming four years,” the bank states.
Partnership with, and investment in, fintechs is “a key element” of ING’s innovation strategy, it says. “Scanning the outside world for solutions that help create a differentiating customer experience has always been part of the bank’s approach.”
To date, ING has inked 115 fintech strategic partnerships and investments globally. The latest example is a tie-up with SME lender Kabbage, which has now been expanded to France and Italy to provide small businesses with real-time access to working capital. The roll-out to the new countries follows a successful project between the two parties in Spain to launch “a completely automated and paperless lending service” for SMEs. Companies can now “easily apply, qualify and access ongoing lines of credit up to €100,000 with ING in under ten minutes”, according to ING and Kabbage.
ING Ventures will be part of ING’s chief innovation office and will be entirely funded internally by the bank. It will be led by Benoît Legrand, ING’s global head of fintech.
The bank emphasises that “while it will adopt investment methods and portfolio management based on venture capital structures, the aim will not be to achieve a solely financial purpose”.
ING Ventures will serve ING’s businesses to accelerate the Think Forward strategy. The fund will focus on start-ups and companies that already gained some market traction, mainly in the geographies where ING is already operating or planning to expand to.