The fund will acquire minority positions in pioneering fintech and insurtech start-ups. It will also indirectly invest using VC funds that prioritise innovative technologies like AI, blockchain, cybersecurity, and data, mirroring the company’s business interests. The fund is managed by BNP Paribas Capital Partners.
Additionally, the bank’s new fund is part of their Open Innovation strategy, acting in concert with work it has already begun with start-ups and entrepreneurs.
Last year, the bank outlined a EUR 3 billion business plan to create the “bank of tomorrow”, and since then, invested in leading fintech firms such as Serena Data Venture, Ventech China, Symphony, Gambit, Viola fintech. A 95% stake in Compte-Nickel, one of France’s top fintech start-ups, was also made.
Jacques d’Estais, deputy COO and international financial services head, says that the bank is “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”. He continues, noting that “bringing out the bank of tomorrow will require us to put innovative, complementary mechanisms in place”. 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.”
Fintech investment trend
BNP Paribas’ significant investments in fintech are part of a larger trend in banking in investing in fintech. CB Insights reports that if the current pace on investing is maintained, funding from banks to European fintech outfits should eclipse USD 2.6 billion, and there could be 57% more deals made than in 2016. Just in the first quarter of 2017, USD 667 million was invested in European, VC-baked fintech outfits, spread over 73 deals.