Italian lender UniCredit has launched a joint investment venture with UK-based Anthemis Group, supporting an investment of €200 million for fintech ventures, according to a UniCredit statement.
Anthemis Group is a financial services technology venture and advisory firm which has worked with UniCredit in a bid to help identify and invest in up and coming fintech startups. This includes a majority of the investment stake from UniCredit’s EVO (equity venture opportunities), targeting mid-stage startups in the hopes of developing already existing fintech business or ventures – alternatively, the investment stake will also help foster early stage digitally native financial services startups.
The initial €200 million investment with Anthemis will also aim to help UniCredit to accelerate the digitalization of its banking unit. For its part, UniCredit’s goal will be to collaborate developing new technologies and solutions in the space. The area of focus will entail both Europe and North America, ultimately encompassing the entire lifecycle of emerging fintech companies.
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In addition, the investment will cover such areas as retail banking and consumer finance, investment and corporate banking, wealth and asset management, capital markets and trading, payments and financial data, technology, and infrastructure, among others. Under the mantle of UniCredit, the joint venture will be spearheaded by its innovation team, under the remit of banking group Chief Operating Officer and Deputy General Manager Paolo Fiorentino. Conversely, at Anthemis, Nadeem Shaikh, founder and CEO of Anthemis Group, will oversee the partnership.
According to Mr. Fiorentino in a recent statement on the investment: “Thanks to this partnership, we are ramping up our digital transformation, building a new business model to maximize the combined strengths of traditional market players and newcomers. As a bank we have the resources, financial expertise and large customer base that can complement startup innovation.”
“This will in turn boost our digitalization, enabling us to better adapt to the ever-evolving needs of our customers. Today, Anthemis becomes a key partner on this journey. By leveraging their wide expertise, Anthemis will help us identify top class players and opportunities that will drive innovation and ultimately help us to better serve our customers,” he added.
“We are delighted to be putting all of the Anthemis assets – a powerful global ecosystem, deep strategic insight and extensive investment experience – to work in the Investment Partnership. UniCredit has proved to be a dynamic partner with a proud history of innovation, and this partnership will allow them unlock further potential in the realm of digitally native financial services,” noted Mr. Shaikh in accompanying statement.