BBVA has announced a partnership with major fintech venture investor and builder Anthemis Group (Anthemis) to build a venture creation studio in London.
The studio will create value by deploying capital and resources to building businesses that address untapped user needs and attract the best fintech entrepreneurs.
The partnership will see BBVA expand its footprint in the fintech ecosystem, while enabling Anthemis to continue its mission to cultivate change in financial services.
BBVA and Anthemis expect to help startup founders find fintech business opportunities, initiate projects, and see them develop from conception through to the seed capital round of financing.
The partnership will also complement BBVA’s current startup activity, where the bank creates, invests in, and collaborates with companies in the fintech ecosystem through its venture capital fund Propel and its New Digital Businesses (NDB) unit that promotes disruptive entrepreneurship and the creation of fintech startups.
“This agreement will help us realize growth in our capacity to promote, create, and advance U.K. and international fintech projects outside of our core markets.
“The aim is simple, find the very best fintech ideas – the ones that are real game-changers and that will improve people lives and the way businesses operate, and then support their growth.
BBVA’s new digital businesses head Ian Ormerod said: “Anthemis’ experience both in the U.K., Europe and increasingly across the U.S. makes them the best possible partner for this project.
Anthemis Founder and President, Amy Nauiokas, continued: “BBVA shares our passion for transforming financial services for the Information Age. The company has played a tremendous role supporting innovation in the fintech ecosystem globally for many years.
“To that end, BBVA is a perfect partner for Anthemis to align with as we seek to find the next opportunity spaces for early stage entrepreneurs inside an industry still so ripe for change.”
Anthemis brings its deep knowledge of global fintech trends, a rich network of like-minded innovators, as well as a solid track record of fintech investment to the collaboration. As part of the agreement, a specialized team will be appointed that represents both BBVA and Anthemis and is responsible for the management of the studio and its projects.
A decade ago, London secured its position as the European fintech hub, and it continues to attract the continent’s most innovative projects. In addition to being a market for BBVA, the British capital offers extensive access to all kinds of financing and has an unrivaled international pool of talent. In fact, investment in the U.K. fintech sector continues to grow with around half of all European fintech investment flowing into the country.
BBVA boasts proven experience and capabilities in both the incubation and promotion of fintech startups. The Group maintains a close relationship with the fintech and innovation ecosystems through NDB, Propel and initiatives like Open Talent, the world’s biggest fintech competition, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.
In 2017 BBVA launched multiple projects, including Tuyyo, an app that facilitates instant international money transfers; and Covault, a startup specializing in online identity protection using biometrics. Soon afterward, Azlo, a U.S. startup offering online banking services to small businesses and the self-employed, was founded. Then, in early 2018 Denizen, a company that provides global banking accounts to individuals who need to manage their money internationally, was launched.
In early 2017, BBVA launched Muno, the first digital insurance company in Spain exclusively targeting the self-employed. It has since launched two products: unemployment protection insurance in case of accident or sickness and medical insurance.
Source: Company Press Release