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Aviva invests $10m in VC backing female-run UK fintechs

The lack of female-led bosses at fintechs has been a long-standing issue which the financial services industry, including Aviva’s CEO Amanda Blanc, is looking to address.

a person standing in front of stacks of coins

Female-led firms/ Pixabay

Aviva, the insurance giant, has ploughed $10m into a VC fund aimed at backing female-run UK fintechs.

The funds have been invested in Anthemis Female Innovators Lab fund, the world’s biggest female-focused fintech fund.

The fund is based in New York and was jointly founded in 2019 by Barclays Bank and fintech investor Anthemis.

The dearth of female-led bosses at fintechs has been a long-standing issue which the industry is looking to address.

According to statistics from Anthemis, just four per cent of UK fintechs are headed up by women, but data shows that female founders demonstrate a 63 per cent better performance than all-male founding teams.

Aviva’s CEO Amanda Blanc, one of a small number of women running FTSE 100 firms, has been a flag waver for women working in fintech.

Ben Luckett, chief innovation officer at Aviva, said the investment was driven by commercial imperatives. 

He told the Times: “Some of the statistics are striking around how more effective female-founded businesses are, so that plays into the financial return. Our primary lens in these investments is strategic.

“We are looking for access insights, collaboration [and] partnership opportunities with this ecosystem. As a 300-year old company, if we’re going to continue to compete and understand where to participate and partner with the right players, then we need to be very much in this world.

“This very much aligns with what we’ve been doing over the last six or seven years, which is putting money into the venture ecosystem to support emerging financial services technology across banking, insurance, consumer finance and wealth management, because we see that’s crucial for the future of the market.”

To date, Anthemis’s Innovator Fund has made ten investments including in Addition Wealth, a financial wellness platform, and Kinly, a fintech focused on providing services for black Americans.

Aviva also invests in startup businesses through its fund Aviva Ventures.

In 2020, Aviva fully acquired Cardiff-based robo adviser Wealthify.

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