French banking giant BNP Paribas has recently announced a new fund that aims at supporting and investing in startups which are developing new platforms for financial services. As per the official announcement, the fund will be managed by BNP Paribas Capital Partners which is an arm of the BNP Paribas Asset Management and especially looks after the task of selection and multi-management in diverse investment fields.
On behalf of different BNP Paribas’ businesses, the new fund will directly invest and buy minority stakes in innovative startups which are working on novel ideas to transform the financial services and insurance sector. The fund aims at working in alignment with investors and entrepreneurs that are looking forward to supporting FinTech startups.
According to the official announcement, the fund “will also make indirect investments through Venture Capital funds whose priorities in technologies (such as AI, data, blockchain, cyber-security…), geographies and topics match those of the BNP Paribas’ businesses.”
Jacques d’Estais, deputy COO and head of international financial services for BNP Paribas said: “At BNP Paribas, we’re 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 further added that “This will require us to put in place innovative, complementary mechanisms. 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.”
In the official announcement, the French bank further added that “With the establishment of this new investment fund, BNP Paribas is stepping up its Open Innovation strategy. The fund complements a range of initiatives already launched with the intention of driving forward the Group’s policy of working closely with promising startups.”
The French bank is actively working towards embracing new technologies to prepare itself for the ongoing revolution in the global financial system. Last year, the bank has outlined a plan in order to invest 3 billion EUR over the span of three-years to make the ‘bank of the future’. Since then, the bank is seen making several strategic investments in the firm that are at the forefront of the fintech innovation boom like viola Fintech, Ventech China, Serena Data Venture, Gambit, Symphony, Caple as well as acquiring 95% stake in French neo-bank Compte-Nickel.
Although banks globally have snubbed off virtual digital currencies at every point, they have expressed a huge interest in the blockchain technology which provides a more secure infrastructure with additional advantages of reduced transaction costs and faster transaction processing.
Blockchain startup Ripple is also seen collaborating with several banks across Asia, Middle East and Europe in order to facilitate faster payment transactions of funds.