Credem will use this plafond to invest in startups and fintech companies with industrial purposes and which help propel the acceleration of the open innovation model in multiple areas, such as instant lending, wealth management and supply chain cybersecurity.
The goal is to identify innovative technologies and models to strengthen the Group’s core business, support its evolution and generate value for the group itself and for its customers.
The initiative does not consist of a proper investment fund, but it refers to an ad hoc procedure approved by Credem’s board of directors during the last meeting. They assigned a budget of several million to it to be used to finance the startups that will be evaluated as most suitable for the development of the banking group’s business.
The process was studied in collaboration with GELLIFY’s experts, who accompanied the bank’s leadership team along the elaboration path of the approach to corporate venture capital together with the innovation team, starting from the understanding of the strategic potential, to the internal consensus building, up to the definition of policies, governance and processes that will make the investment activities repeatable and scalable, thus minimizing the effort required.
The investment activity will have a multi-year horizon, and the opportunities will be selected in coherence with the industrial priorities of the bank by an investment team, coordinated by the innovation unit of the Group, and will be evaluated by an investment committee composed of members of the Group’s management team. The investments will be mainly early stage and pre-seed, and the transaction operations will be completed through Credemtel, a company belonging to the Group which specializes in digital services for businesses.
Through the collaboration with Credemtel, the Group will invest in the capital of startups, SMEs and fintech companies with high potential for innovation and growth, operating among the sectors of interest such as instant lending, wealth management and supply chain cybersecurity.
GELLIFY Managing Partner and Founder Michele Giordani commented: “The key element in supporting the launch of the corporate venturing plafond was the contamination of Credem’s experience with GELLIFY’s point of view on the value that could derive from a greater integration in the innovation ecosystem. By the way, the bank has already been successful in creating a technological and digital offer to integrate the financial one. The process we have built together will allow us to intercept emerging market trends and opportunities whose interaction with the financial services world is already evident, but needs to be monitored from the very beginning in order to maximize the industrial synergy.”
Piergiorgio Grossi, Credem’s chief innovation officer since 2018, declared during a recent interview with the Italian online business magazine EconomyUp: “Corporate venture capital was started as an important, but natural step in the process of open innovation of our Group. We began participating in the startup world for an exchange of experiences and for inspiration. Then, we moved on to participate in the scouting, acceleration and incubation programs of those with expertise in this industry. Finally, we started working directly with startups on different innovation projects. At that point, it seemed obvious to participate in the business by investing in the startups themselves, when warranted.”