Bloomberg reports that the biggest bank in Spain is, in effect, doubling down on its investments in FinTech.
Banco Santander is ramping up the financial backing of its eponymous FinTech fund, Santander InnoVentures, operating out of London, to $200 million, up from the previous $100 million, which, as Ana Botin, chairman of the bank, said, signals that “a deeper investment in our FinTech fund will help our transformation towards being the best bank for our customers.”
As has been the norm for many investment funds, InnoVentures takes minority investments as a conduit of leveraging startup technology into its banking platforms at large. The fund has invested in more than a half dozen startups since opening its doors in 2014. The latest salvo in the Santander FinTech advance came in the form of an investment in Digital Asset Holdings, a blockchain technology firm.
In May, Santander’s fund was part of an investment push, to the tune of $40 million, for SigFig, a California startup that crafts software used by robot advisors. Elsewhere, reported the newswire, the larger trend has been one where lenders are looking to grab more — and younger — customers and have been setting lures that make it easier to conduct financial transactions across mobile devices. The competition has been heating up as Spain’s second-largest bank behind Santander, BBVA, committed $250 million to a FinTech investment firm.