Santander spins out its fintech venture capital arm while doubling allocated funds to $400 m

Banco Santander has today announced the launch of Mouro Capital, a new, autonomously managed venture capital fund focused on fintechs and adjacent businesses linked with the financial services industry. Mouro Capital succeeds Santander Innoventures and will have $400 million in allocated funds after the bank doubled its current commitment.

Mouro Capital will manage the existing portfolio of Santander Innoventures, which was established in 2014 with an initial $100 million allocation, increasing to $200 million two years later. Since then the fund has invested in 36 startups in Europe and the Americas.

The decision to spin out its investment arm is another milestone in Santander’s four-year (2019-2022) €20 billion digital and technology investment plan. The group is accelerating its digital and commercial transformation to maintain its operational excellence while constantly improving the customer experience and innovative services it brings to customers.

Mouro Capital aims to bring its fintech expertise, global network and strong track-record in successful investments to early and growth stage startups globally. The fund will continue to deploy capital across Europe and the Americas, primarily leading investment rounds with initial investments of up to $15 million and further
follow-on reserves. It will be led by general partner Manuel Silva Martínez, who joined Innoventures five years ago and has led the fund since 2018, and senior advisor Chris Gottschalk, who joined from Blumberg Capital in 2019.

Ana Botín, Banco Santander executive chairman, said: “The creation of our fintech venture capital fund in 2014 has allowed Santander to lead the industry in implementing new technologies, including blockchain, offering better services to our customers as a result. Innoventures has almost doubled the cash invested, despite being relatively young for a venture capital fund. Our goal is to build on that success, and by increasing our investment, while giving greater autonomy to the fund, we can be even more agile and further accelerate the digital
transformation of the group.”

Manuel Silva Martínez, general partner of Mouro Capital, said: “By becoming more autonomous, we will gain in agility, attract entrepreneurial talent to the investment team, and further align to our entrepreneurs’ success.

Author: Lauren Towner

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