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Icap founder to back fintech fund with at least £25m

Element Ventures is aiming to raise up to £100m.


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Michael Spencer, the billionaire Icap founder, is to plough at least £25m in funding, supporting a new fintech fund looking to raise £100m.

Spencer is making the investment via his investment vehicle IPGL in a fintech investment business called Element Ventures. 

Element Ventures is aiming to raise up to £100m.

The fintech venture is focusing on emerging companies that are developing technologies combating challenges which are faced by the banking and financial services industries, according to the Financial Times.

Element Ventures three partners are Spencer Lake, HSBC's former Vice Chairman of Global Banking and Markets and two executives, Steve Gibson and Michael McFadgen, who previously ran the venture capital division of Nex, Spencer's technology group which he sold to CME, the world's biggest futures exchange.

The investment marks one of the biggest by Spencer, a former Tory Party treasurer who is thought to have a personal fortune of around £1bn since founding ICAP in 1986, since he sold Nex in 2018.

According to the Element Ventures website, the fund is backing firms "attacking large B2B verticals, using technology to deliver competitive advantage and run by outstanding founders with a deep understand of the problem."

In a blog post on Medium, Element Ventures describes the thinking behind the venture, pointing out that its founders have between them 25 years of experience investing in financial technology.

The blog post says: "We know this space well and it was a natural evolution to launch Element. Even so, when we considered the plan we asked ourselves the same three difficult questions we would ask a firm we might invest in- Is the market big enough? Did we have product/market fit? And what's unique about us?"

It continues: "More and more wallet is being spent with young, pioneering technology firms. Our team has been investing in this trend for ten years and every day we see it accelerating."

It adds: "The market desired a firm that was a specialist in the enterprise space, could invest meaningful scaling capital and was able to partner with all corners of the market. We believe Element will make this happen."

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