French international banking group BNP Paribas has launched a new investment fund to support FinTech startups transforming financial services and insurance.
Managed by BNP Paribas Capital Partners, the new fund will take direct minority stakes in innovative startups that are reinventing financial services and insurance. The objective of the fund is to support startups by operating in total alignment with entrepreneurs and investors toward success.
The FinTech investment fund will also make indirect investments through venture capital funds whose priorities in technologies – such as artificial intelligence (AI), data, blockchain, cyber-security – geographies and topics match those of its various business units and divisions.
Last year, the bank outlined plans to invest $3.7 billion in a three-year business plan to build the ‘bank of the future.’ According to the bank, a number of strategic investments has already been made, including in Serena Data Venture, Viola Fintech, Ventech China, Symphony, Gambit, Caple as well as acquiring a 95% stake in French neo-bank Compte-Nickel.
The bank said the fund complements a range of initiatives already launched, with the intention of driving forward the group’s policy of working closely with promising startups.
Jacques d’Estais, BNP Paribas Group Deputy COO and Head of International Financial Services, said they are convinced that open innovation is a powerful driver for the transformation that will help to build the bank of tomorrow and enable them to continue to provide their clients with high value-added products and services.
“This will require us to put in place innovative, complementary mechanisms,” said d’Estais. “The new fund, which will give added fire-power to our investment strategy, complements the other initiatives we’ve already set in motion, including our partnership with Plug and Play, our Station F space and our Startup Engagement Kit, which was recently highlighted on the FrenchTech label.”
BNP Paribas has been puttting in huge efforts to enhance the capability of blockchain technology. Last month, BNP Paribas Asset Management announced that it had successfully completed a full end-to-end fund transaction test using blockchain technology. The test was conducted on Fund Link, the company’s blockchain program, and blockchain platform FundsFLT, which was developed by Fundsquare, a subsidiary of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, InTech.
Pierre Mottion, global head of transfer agent and fund dealing securities products at BNP Paribas Securities Services, said the test demonstrated that Fund Link was able to connect with other blockchains, opening the door to a new model of interoperability, and it marks a key milestone for fund distribution.