Santander Group is digging deeper into the Fintech space with its venture capital fund arm, Satander InnoVentures, making strategic investments in two Fintech start-ups from the UK and one from the US.
The start-ups, Pixoneye and Curve of UK and Gridspace, based in the USA., have been identified for investments thanks to their focus on artificial intelligence as one of the technologies that will transform banking transactions in the years to come.
The enterprises will also work along with Elliptic and Socure, backed by other investments of similar kind.
One of key features in the Pixoneye product-mix is the predictive personalization technology, which anticipates the customer’s needs and offers tailored recommendations.
As for Gridspace, its USP is the application of AI to sift through spoken and written communications to covert conversational interactions into structured business data.
The third startup, Curve of UK, has achieved a technological breakthrough that creates a unique window, ‘connected finance’ space, which combines all payment cards into one Mastercard connected to a mobile app.
The rise of the Fintech activity in the recent six-month period has prompted the fund managers to invest more into this digitech space. Satandar InnoVentures is estimated at a funding capacity of $200 million, and closely watches the Fintech area for promising funding prospects.
The fund has already invested into the prospects of 15 Fintech enterprises across all segments in the arena.
Mariano Belinky, Managing Partner, Santander InnoVentures, says 70% of the fund’s portfolio are now in commercial engagements with the Santander Group: “As we invest in our core areas of artificial intelligence, open banking and customer centric solutions, we continue to position Banco Santander as a leader in financial services innovation and support the Group in its strategy of collaborating with disruptive companies, to make meaningful leaps in how we serve customers.”
The investment in Curve comes as part of a $10 million Series A funding round for the company, which saw Santander join Investec and a group of VCs and individual investors. Curve is currently in Beta and has served up over £50 million in payments to a 50,000-strong base of self-employed and small business owners in the UK.