Monday 18 July 2016 4:07 pm

Santander's added $100m to its fintech venture fund

Santander is ploughing a further $100m (£75.3m) into its venture fund to invest in fintech startups around the world.

The cash doubles the bank's UK-based venture investment fund, Santander InnoVentures, which has already invested in blockchain startups Ripple and Digital Asset Holdings.

“A deeper investment in our fintech fund represents Santander's success in investing in disruptive new technologies that will help our transformation towards being the best bank for our customers – in the simple personal and fair way they expect and deserve today," said Banco Santander's executive chairman Ana Botin.

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The fund’s base in the UK has allowed it to benefit from London’s position as a fintech hub, while talent-spotting our investments on a global basis. Santander remains committed to the UK and excited about its fintech enterprises.

Santander is eyeing up startups in Latin America and across Europe with the expanded fund and new technologies.

"This commitment allows the fund to continue expanding the work we are doing across geographies and investment themes," said the fund's managing partner Mariano Belinky.

It will help us expand our portfolio to exciting geographies like Latin America and explore more opportunities across Europe. It will also allow us to explore new and exciting themes around artificial intelligence, machine learning, cognitive computing, digital banking and others that allow us to further improve Santander’s value proposition to its customers.

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Santander InnoVentures was set up in 2014 with a $100m fund and is one of a number of bank venture funds to spring up in recent years seeking out innovation in financial technology.

The Spanish banking group recently announced it is testing out blockchain technology for making international payments as a result of its investment in Ripple. 

It last week hired blockchain guru Blythe Masters, a former JP Morgan executive and founder of Digital Asset Holdings, to advise the bank on the fledgling technology.