ING just launched ING Ventures, a €300 million fund aimed at investing in young fintech companies. To accelerate the pace of innovation, one of ING’s strategic priorities, ING Ventures will expand the existing portfolio of investments in the coming 4 years.
The ING group, which is headquartered in Amsterdam, considers partnering with and investing in fintechs as a key element of its innovation strategy. ING has successfully launched various own innovations in the market, but scanning the outside world for solutions that help create a differentiating customer experience has always been part of the bank’s approach. ING Ventures will build on the success that the current approach has already brought over the past 3 years, leading to the current 115 fintech strategic partnerships and investments globally.
ING Ventures will be part of ING’s Chief Innovation Office and will be entirely funded internally by ING. While it will adopt investment methods and portfolio management based on venture capital structures, the aim will not be to achieve a solely financial purpose. ING Ventures will serve ING’s businesses to accelerate the Think Forward strategy. The fund will focus on startups and companies that already gained some market traction. The companies it will invest in are generally, but not exclusively, fintechs that are active in countries where ING has a presence or where ING has the intention to expand into.
Benoît Legrand, global head of Fintech, has been appointed CEO of ING Ventures. He commented: “ING has been very active in developing strategic partnerships and investing in fintechs that help to empower our customers to stay a step ahead in life and in business. This has worked very well: our current partnerships have resulted in products and services that are making the lives of our customers easier. As we see changes in the external environment happen faster and faster, we have to anticipate and step up our pace as well. Establishing this fund is yet another way for ING to use the digital revolution as a growth opportunity and help transform the bank to become the go-to platform for financial needs and become part of other platforms.”