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Santander banks on fintech as it relaunches VC investment arm

The Spanish bank has also doubled the VC’s pot of cash from $200m to $400m.

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Manuel Silva Martínez/Mouro Capital

Santander is rebranding its venture capital arm Santander InnoVentures as Mouro Capital, and doubling its allocated funds from $200m to $400m as fintech investment hots up. 

Mouro Capital will manage Santander InnoVentures’ existing investments in 36 startups across Europe and the Americas as well as further deepening Santander’s fintech involvement. 

The decision to expand Santander’s VC commitments comes as part of the Spanish bank’s $20bn four-year digital and technology investment plan. 

Manuel Silva Martínez, general partner of Mouro Capital, said: “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.” 

The fund will dish out initial investments of up to $15m to startups across the US, South America and Europe. 

Ana Botín, executive chair of Banco Santander, said: “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.” 

“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.” 

Santander InnoVentures has invested in the likes of cryptocurrency and digital payment network Ripple, payment processor firm iZettle (which has since been bought by PayPal), and US alternative lender Kabbage.

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