In the height of the fintech revolution, it is essential for banks to be connected to the startup ecosystem in order to adequately approach the new challenges and opportunities that are being presented to the financial sector. From increasingly prevalent and sophisticated cyber threats to the regulatory requirements imposed by PSD2, incumbents are implementing solutions from new technology providers to evolve into this new age.
At InnoCells, Banco Sabadell’s digital ventures hub, we invest and partner with companies that operate in areas related to Sabadell Group’s core business. We believe that it is through collaboration with such companies that we can deliver the best possible services and experience to the Bank’s clients, expand the value chain, and improve back-end processes to optimize the efficiency of the enterprise.
Our primary mission is to find opportunities that can provide us with both strategic and financial return. We primarily invest in Europe (Spain, UK), Israel and Mexico, given the more obvious capacity to generate synergies as these are geographies within Sabadell’s footprint. From InnoCells we are able to facilitate the entry of companies into new markets, driving partnerships and introducing innovative models with the help of Sabadell’s brand.
InnoCells’ investment focus lies primarily in Series A − we look for companies that have already developed a complete product that has already achieved some market traction, and through average ticket sizes between €500k – €3M, we carry out minority-stake investments. Given our double-objective approach that requires a strategic rationale, we prefer that a traditional VC leads the deal, providing robust validation from a financial perspective.
As a corporate venture capital fund, we inherently lean towards B2B (or B2B2C) models that are solving real problems. These type of businesses are generally easier for a large enterprise, like Banco Sabadell, to work with (and provide value to). However, we do analyse B2C startups on an opportunistic basis, where we pursue companies that have an extraordinary team or are effectively targeting a genuine and unmet need in the market.
Due to the dynamic nature of the sector, our requirements and focus points are continually under review. However, there are some key areas where we are looking to become active over this year: