BBVA is altering its future investment plans related to fintech startups. The Spanish banking giant is going to boost its financial technology fund to US$250 million teaming up with Propel Venture Partners, located in San Francisco and London. In fact, BBVA will become a limited partner in Propel, a fintech VC that is focusing on payments, credit, insurance, wealth management, e-commerce, security and compliance, reads TechCrunch.
Actually, the firm is going to shut BBVA Ventures, its in-house venture arm. Though, the company is taking BBVA Ventures’ portfolio, the $100 million fund it had allocated to the group, and another $150 million to put it into Propel Venture Partners.
“In an increasingly competitive fintech venture capital environment, we believe that our increased capital, Propel’s independence and a presence in London can enable us to invest in the best fintech start-ups and better support BBVA’s vision of using technology to change financial services for the benefit of the customer,” said Teppo Paavola, BBVA’s chief development officer and general manager of New Digital Business.
Jay Reinemann, Tom Whiteaker and Ryan Gilbert are Propel’s managing partners. Still, Gilbert has been involved in several global financial services firms as a founder, investor and independent board member, Reinemann and Whiteaker were previously managing the BBVA Ventures fund, reports Banking Technology.
“Propel believes that the future of financial services will be realized by rethinking and rebuilding, not merely disrupting. We look forward to partnering with energetic entrepreneurs for the long term, driving ideas forward together, backed by BBVA and its commitment to support digital change in financial services,” commented Mr Reinemann.
According to Banking Technology, Propel is going to manage BBVA Ventures investments including digital lender Prosper, wealth management advisor Personal Capital and Taulia, an online cashflow management tool for corporate purchasers and suppliers.
It’s necessary to add that BBVA has also invested in other fintech firms to support their development as part of its digital transformation programme. The bank acquired Simple, a tech company that’s transforming the way people bank and think about funds. Last year BBVA made a $67 million investment in still-stealth mobile-only bank Atom in the UK.