Santander Group is throwing another $100 million into its fintech venture investment fund, Santander InnoVentures.
This investment doubles the fund, which was set up in 2014 with $100 million to identify promising young fintech startups and provide them with financial support and other resources. In October it invested $4 million in the distributed ledger technology firm Ripple and in January participated in a $50 million funding round in Digital Asset Holdings, the blockchain software company run by former JPMorgan Chase executive Blythe Masters. (Incidentally, Masters resigned as chairman of Santander Consumer Holdings to advise its Spanish parent, Banco Santander, on blockchain technology.)
With the expanded fund Santander plans to steer its portfolio to include startups in Latin America and Europe and further explore digital banking as well as artificial intelligence, machine learning and cognitive computing, it said in a Monday news release.
"A deeper investment in our fintech fund represents Santander's success in investing in disruptive new technologies that will help our transformation towards being the best bank for our customers – in the simple personal and fair way they expect and deserve today," said Ana Botin, Banco Santander's executive chairman.