A new investment fund that will be launched and managed by BNP Paribas Capital Partners will be used to take direct minority stakes in fintech startup companies.
It has also been reported that the plan will be to use the new fund as a vehicle for making indirect investments via venture capital funds. Taking this approach, BNP Paribas will look to push important areas including Blockchain, AI and cybersecurity.
This initiative is not the international banking group’s first foray into fintech, having engaged in number of investments already. Gambit, Symphony, Serena Data Venture and Viola Fintech are among the line-up.
Jacques d’Estais, BNP Paribas group deputy COO and head of international financial services, said: “At BNP Paribas, we’re firmly convinced that Open Innovation is a powerful driver for the transformation that will help to build the bank of tomorrow and enable us to continue to provide our clients with high value-added products and services.”
The arrival of Open Banking and PSD2 at the beginning of 2018 have acted as an accelerant in driving established financial organisations towards leveraging the innovative capabilities of fintech startups, looking to provide customers with cutting edge experiences and capabilities.
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“This will require us to put in place innovative, complementary mechanisms. 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,” said d’Estais.
Fintech is booming globally, with the UK leading the way just behind China and the United States. Record levels of foreign investment have poured into London in the past year, dispelling fears that Brexit would hamper the progress of such areas. While progress was found to have been particularly strong last year, global fintech funding soared above $122 billion in the last three years, growing into a well-established industry in its own right.