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Google and Intel are biggest corporate investors in fintech

Matthew Finnegan | June 3, 2015
Google Venture and Intel Capital making more investments that the likes of Mastercard and American Express

investment

Google and Intel are the largest corporate investors in the booming fintech startups community, according to a CB Insights report.

While traditional banks and insurance companies are investing the most in financial technology startups, the analyst report highlights growing interest from "strategic or corporate investors". It claims that corporate investor deals targeting fintech firms are set to double from 2015 to 2014, with $1.4 billion spent in more than 110 deals during last year.

And while the majority of those investors come from a financial background, the biggest spenders are the investment arms of two of the biggest tech firms around: Google and Intel.

Google Ventures leads the ways as the most prolific investor in fintech firms in recent years, according to the report, making 25 unique company investments since 2010.

Its funding deals have been targeted at innovators such as Kensho, which aims to bring Google-style search to choosing stocks, crowd-funding firm Puddle, and digital currency pioneer Ripple Labs, which uses bitcoin blockchain technology as the basis of its decentralised payments network.

However, Google's investment arm has been less keen to open the purse strings this side of the Atlantic, with Techworld reporting earlier this year that a $125 million (£82 million) Europe startup fund, had been left untouched.

Intel Capital, placed second on the list, has also focused on the booming fintech scene, with investments in Fortumo, Stornevy and mobile card payments firm, iZettle.

Others featuring on the list include the large payments providers, hoping to avoid disruption from potential competitors by engaging at an early stage. Fourth-placed Mastercard, for instance, has been involved in a number of startup initiatives such as Startupbootcamp, while its Start Path accelerator has led to investment in firms such as identity and payment security firm, MePin.

Meanwhile, Mastercard rival American Express is ranked sixth in the CB Insight table, followed by online shopping giant Ebay in seventh with investments in Branding Brand, TradeShift and BillSafe among others, with the latter now having been acquired by retailer.

According to CB Insights, the report highlights how fintech is becoming "top of mind or many large corporations in the world", with more than 90 unique corporations investing in fintech startups last year, a 176 increase from 2010.

A separate report from the analyst firm and IT service provider Accenture, released in March, showed that the total global investment in fintech firms has tripled in the past year, with the fastest growth witnessed in Europe.

Overall spending on fintech firms grew by more than three times the rate of general venture capital investment, growing from $4.05 billion (£2.7bn) in 2013 to $12.2 billion (£8.2bn) in 2014.

 

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