Santander Innoventures Fund says it has earmarked $5 million to Israel-based mobile payment and loyalty provider MyCheck as its first investment.
The London-based fintech funding arm for Spain's Banco Santander's $100 million venture fund provides financial and other support to companies developing digital payment solutions.
MyCheck launched in 2011 with technology that enables users to open, view and pay restaurant tabs with plastic cards or PayPal accounts. When it entered the U.S. market two years ago, MyCheck had more than 56,000 patrons globally using their mobile phones to pay at more than 600 restaurants.
Since changing its approach to provide branded apps for restaurant groups and chains, MyCheck has seen significant growth in transaction volumes in the past six months, Santander said in a March 30 press release. Santander did not release transaction or account numbers for MyCheck.
The technology provides "MyCheck Inside" capabilities to other app providers in the hospitality market. As such, MyCheck allows restaurant groups and chains to own a customized, branded mobile experience, either inside an existing app or in a new app that the vendor develops for the brand.
The investment funds will support MyCheck's international expansion across the U.S. and Western Europe, Santander said.
Through the Santander investment, MyCheck kicks off its Series B funding round and will benefit from the bank's scale, reaching more than 107 million retail and commercial customers across 10 main markets in Europe and the Americas.
"Santander is an ideal investor and partner for MyCheck," Shlomit Kugler, co-founder and CEO of MyCheck, stated in the press release. "The company shares our vision and our passion for financial technology that improves the lives of people and helps businesses and economies to grow."
Banco Santander has been active in the mobile payments space globally, establishing a partnership with Gemalto a year ago to provide technology for college students in Spain, Brazil, Chile and Mexico to use with their mobile phones to access buildings and make payments at on-campus restaurants.
Santander Innoventures plans to announce more mobile payment and mobile banking infrastructure investments in the coming weeks, the release stated.