European banks are placing strategic bets in areas ranging from wealth management, lending, payments, regulatory technology, software, and blockchain, according to CB Insights.
The research company analysed the private market fintech investment activity of the top European banks (including the investments made by the banks’ venture arms), by assets under management, from 2012-2017 year-to-date.
In Q1 2017, European VC-backed fintech companies received 73 investments worth $667 million. According to CB Insights, at the current pace, total funding dollars to fintech companies based in Europe are on pace to surpass $2.6 billion and deals could surpass those of 2016 by 57%.
Spain-based Santander has been the most active among its European peers investing in fintech over the last five quarters, CB Insights‘ research has found. The bank makes its investments through its venture arm Santander InnoVentures.
France-based BPCE and Credit Mutuel, and UK-based Lloyds did not make any equity investments to fintech start-ups during this period, says the research firm, and hence are not included in the graphic below.
- Santander, UBS and Deutsche Bank have demonstrated the most investment activity.
- The most active investor – Santander – made 13 investments into 12 unique fintech startu-ps. The largest funding round it participated in was the $135 million Series E funding round of SME lender Kabbage in Q3 2015 (the bank also works with Kabbage across a number of European countries).
- Santander’s interest spans wealth management, lending, payments, regtech and blockchain.
- The company with the most co-investments from among this group of banks is blockchain consortium R3. It has recently raised $107 million.
- Blockchain technology is the category with the most consistent investor presence. Nearly every European bank on the list above has invested in a blockchain company.