Fintech funding came out of the gate with a strong start in 2018. And now, three big incumbents — US financial holdings company BB&T, UK bank Standard Chartered, and Japanese financial services company SBI Holdings — are adding fuel to this trend by launching new fintech funds.
The company announced a $50 million fund that will invest in and acquire emerging fintech companies, with the aim of increasing customer satisfaction and lowering operating costs. As part of BB&T’s digital business transformation, it has already developed new digital tools and improved its security to protect client accounts. This new fintech fund will further contribute to BB&T’s overhaul.
The bank has introduced a new business unit, called SC Ventures, that will invest in new fintechs as well as manage previous investments. The money for investments will be taken from its three-year $3 billion fund launched in 2015, which is dedicated to investing in new technologies. Standard Chartered has already invested in the distributed ledger network Ripple, with which it developed a new cross-border payments platform in November 2017.
The company aims to raise $450 million for an artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain fund. The fund will start investing this month and be managed by its subsidiary, SBI Investment. An initial 20 billion yen ($180 million) was raised for the fund in two months and investors include 50 domestic and international financial institutions, as well as nonfinancial companies. Investors will also use the solutions of the fintechs to help them grow. SBI previously launched a fintech fund in December 2015, worth 30 billion yen ($270 million), which was the biggest fintech fund in Japan back then.