Michael Spencer, the billionaire founder of ICAP, has reportedly committed £25 million (appr. $32.5 million) to a newly established £100 million (appr. $130 million) Fintech venture fund in the United Kingdom.
The fund, called Element Ventures, has been established by Michael McFadgen and Steve Gibson, who are both former members of Icap’s Euclid Opportunities incubator, and former investment banker Spencer Lake.
The fund aims to focus on emerging Fintech firms that are building technology platform to address the current challenges faced by the traditional banking and financial services sectors.
Euclid Opportunities has been active in the Fintech industry, having backed companies like Du.co, OpenGamma, Enso Financial, AcadiaSoft, OpenFin, Project X, Abide Financial, Cloud9, Digital Asset, Axoni, Rsrchxchange and Eris X.
The Element Ventures official website notes:
“Our mission is to back firms attacking large B2B verticals, using technology to deliver competitive advantage and run by outstanding founders with a deep understanding of the problem.”
The investment is notably one of the largest by Spencer, a former Conservative Party treasurer, since he sold his trading technology company Nex to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Group) for £3.9 billion.
Private wealth is now a substantial source of funding for Europe’s venture capital industry, with recent research confirming that it had become the primary source of capital for the sector as business owners attract an increasing amount of traditional investments in order to finance a new generation of innovative startups.
Spencer has a net worth of approximately £1 billion since establishing ICAP in 1986. He has maintained a relatively smaller portfolio of personal investments through IPGL since Nex was sold in 2018.