Friday 11 September 2020 8:00 am

Santander spins out $400m fintech venture fund

Santander is splitting off its fintech venture capital fund and doubling its funding, re-branding the formerly-known Innoventures as Mouro Capital.

Mouro Capital will be independent from Santander and have $400m in allocated funds, the Spanish bank said today.

It will take on the entirety of Innoventures’ current portfolio, which includes the likes of payments giant Ripple and British fintech startups Curve and Marketfinance.

Launched in 2014, Innoventures has 36 companies in its portfolio across Europe and the Americas. As of today, approximately 70 per cent of the fund’s portfolio companies also work with Santander.

Santander said the decision to spin out its fintech fund is part of its four-year €20bn technology investment plan, announced last year.

“The creation of our fintech venture capital fund in 2014 has allowed Santander to lead the industry in implementing new technologies, including blockchain, offering better services to our customers as a result,” said Santander executive chairman Ana Botin.

“Innoventures has almost doubled the cash invested, despite being relatively young for a venture capital fund. Our goal is to build on that success, and by increasing our investment, while giving greater autonomy to the fund, we can be even more agile and further accelerate the digital transformation of the group.”

Mouro Capital will primarily lead investment rounds in fintech startups and companies in financial services, with initial investments of up to $15m and further follow-on reserves. 

It will be led by Innoventures general partner Manuel Silva Martinez and senior advisor Chris Gottschalk, who joined from Blumberg Capital in 2019.

Santander said the fund has delivered “strong financial returns” since its inception, with internal rate of returns (IRR) in the 25 per cent to 35 per cent range.

Martinez added: “By becoming more autonomous, we will gain in agility, attract entrepreneurial talent to the investment team, and further align to our entrepreneurs’ success. We are eager to keep on delivering strategic value to Santander, enhancing our partnership and working with our portfolio companies to support the bank in shaping fintech innovation.”