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BNP Paribas launches alternative finance investment fund

The asset manager will be taking direct minority stakes in fintech and insurtech start-ups, as well as in AI, blockchain and cybersecurity.

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European bank BNP Paribas is launching a fintech investment fund for innovative start-ups, managed by BNP Paribas Capital Partners, an arm of BNP Paribas Asset Management.

The fund will take direct minority stakes in start-ups from across alternative finance, with a focus on those that are “reinventing” financial services and insurance. It will also be making indirect investments through venture capital funds who retain a similar focus on technology, geography and topics, such as AI and blockchain, to match those of BNP Paribas’ businesses.

This new investment fund is a part of the bank’s Open Innovation strategy, with the fund complementing a range of initiatives already taken by BNP Paribas to work closely with start-ups and propel entrepreneurs towards success.

A number of strategic investments have already been made over the last year, including in Serena Data Venture, Viola Fintech and Ventech China.

“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,” underlined Jacques d'Estais, BNP Paribas Group deputy COO and head of international financial services.

“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.”

BNP Paribas has been expanding into alternative finance rapidly over the last year, successfully completing a test into fund distribution powered by blockchain technology last month.

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