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Thought Machine wins Italy's biggest bank as client and investor

By investing in Thought Machine and becoming a client as well, Intesa Sanpaolo is following the path taken by Lloyds, JP Morgan Chase, ING, SEB and Standard Chartered.

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Travers Clarke-Walker/Thought Machine.

Italy’s largest bank has joined the ranks of Lloyds and JP Morgan Chase and become a client as well as an investor in Thought Machine.

Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy’s biggest bank by total assets, is investing £40m into Thought Machine as well as leveraging its cloud-based core-banking platform Vault.

Speaking to AltFi, Travers Clarke-Walker, Thought Machine CMO, said the investment underscored the bank’s confidence in the technology provided by Thought Machine,a cloud banking unicorn.

Clarke-Walker said: "It’s a sign of the confidence that a client has in our technology and our vision if they choose to invest into the business. 

“Our plan is not to seek investment from clients as a priority, but to develop, first and foremost, strong commercial relationships with major banks around the world.

"Beyond those who have invested in us, we have many thousands more that we are targeting on purely commercial terms – and that is our focus as a scaling business.”

By investing in London-based Thought Machine and becoming a client as well, Intesa Sanpaolo is following the same path taken by Lloyds, JPMorgan Chase, ING, SEB and Standard Chartered. 

Clarke-Walker said Thought Machine continues to look for “investment partners who match our ambitions and are committed to the business”.

“Our use of fundraising capital remains the same from previous rounds – to fuel our ambitious international growth plan – expand into new markets, expand our existing international offices, while also continuing to develop our key products and capabilities,” he added.

The deal also has the potential to be expanded into other areas.

Intesa Sanpaolo “are keen to see how Thought Machine technology can be applied to Intesa Sanpaolo's wider technology portfolio, both in Italy and internationally," he added.

"This may see Thought Machine technology applied beyond the bank's retail clients, into new markets and into the wider group portfolio,” he adds.

“We will work closely with them over the coming years. First applying our attention to the development of their new digital banking platform, but continuing to have conversations about how we can support them as they undergo an extensive digital transformation programme and group-wide IT renovation.”

The Italian bank will use Vault to power Isybank, its new digital banking platform.

Isybank is initially targeting four million of Intesa Sanpaolo’s mass-market customers in Italy with a range of digital banking services.

Carlo Messina, CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo, said: “This new digital bank will evolve our retail business from incumbent to fintech challenger in the mass market, with the option to expand internationally. 

“We believe so strongly that Thought Machine is the right partner for this transformation that we are also announcing our investment in the company to be part of its growth story.” 

Paul Taylor, founder and CEO of Thought Machine, said: “With Intesa Sanpaolo becoming an investor into the business, we have formed a relationship which will see our technology go further into the wider bank’s portfolio – having a central role to play in delivering enhanced digital services and experiences for the bank’s extensive customer base in Italy and beyond.”

Thought Machine is AltFi’s current B2B’s Fintech Of The Year.

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