Italy’s Mediobanca, London’s Founders Factory to Invest in Fintech Startups

Mediobanca Group, Italy’s largest investment bank, has signed a partnership with Founders Factory, the London-based global company builder and early-stage investor, to launch a new fintech venture studio and accelerator.

This joint venture, underpinned by an overall €12 million investment from Mediobanca, will facilitate innovation “in financial services by supporting international early-stage fintech startups as well as further boost support for Italy’s thriving startup ecosystem.”

The Mediobanca/Founders Factory joint venture will “build and invest in 35 fintech businesses over the next five years.”

The venture studio will “build, finance and launch new fintech ventures that utilize advanced technologies, such as blockchain and AI, to innovate the financial services market in synergy with Mediobanca’s strategy and capabilities.”

In tandem, Founders Factory and Mediobanca will “operate a new accelerator programme to invest in and support more established early-stage fintech ventures in Italy and internationally.”

According to this joint venture, selected entrepreneurs will “benefit from access to vital startup capital, Founders Factory’s global network, world-class operational support and fintech expertise, together with Mediobanca’s commercial access and knowledge to multiple routes to financial practices – from wealth management to consumer banking.”

The partnership with Founders Factory fits into Mediobanca’s 2023-26 “ONE BRAND – ONE CULTURE” Strategic Plan, which “envisages a significant strengthening of the Group’s technology ecosystem.”

The Group’s digital agenda includes, “as priorities, i) the enhancement of digital channels in order to propose a more effective customer experience, ii) the evolution of digital platforms and the adoption of artificial intelligence solutions to support the sales force, iii) a digitalization and automation path aimed at cost optimization.”

Founders Factory claims it is “a leading global fintech authority, having established a long term relationship with UK financial services operator, Aviva, and building and investing in nearly 50 financial technology ventures, including Acre, Qumata, and ClearGlass.”

This new partnership with Mediobanca further “cements the organization’s commitment to the fintech sector as well as establishing itself as a key figure in Italy’s startup ecosystem, which continues to go from strength to strength.”

Alberto Nagel, CEO of Mediobanca, said:

“In recent years we embraced the opportunities that technology has created in the financial sector. We have done so in Wealth Management with the launch of CheBanca!, in Consumer Banking with investments in Buy Now Pay Later as well as in Corporate and Investment Banking with the recent partnership signed with Arma Partners and we want to continue to serve the talent of our people and the user experience of our customers with the most advanced tech solutions. With this joint venture we will seize new opportunities, further strengthening the Group’s technology ecosystem, also through the adoption of innovative models that will allow us to respond effectively to market expectations” – concludes Alberto Nagel.

Marco Pozzi, Group COO of Mediobanca, said:

“The partnership with Founders Factory is a fundamental step in the three-year roadmap envisaged by the ONE BRAND – ONE CULTURE plan and will enable us to accelerate the innovation paths that characterise the Group’s industrial strategy. The systematic collaboration with some of the most interesting startups in the international market will allow us, on the one hand, to contribute to the growth of an extremely high-potential market such as fintech, and, on the other, to transform existing systems by developing distinctive and highly innovative solutions.”

Henry Lane Fox, CEO of Founders Factory commented;

“Mediobanca is one of Italy’s leading financial institutions with reach extending throughout Europe. It makes them the ideal partner for Founders Factory as they recognise the importance of technology’s role in the future of financial services and the systemic change it can bring. Combining our venture building capabilities and fintech experience with Mediobanca’s heritage, financial prowess and global ambition creates a powerful platform to back fintech founders.”

Fabio Troiani, Chairman of Founders Factory Italy added:

“Mediobanca stands out as a trailblazer among Italian banks, showcasing a truly innovative management vision. By collaborating with Founders Factory, they are aligning with a cutting-edge player in the field. Founders Factory’s pioneering approach, blending operational support, venture capital, and innovation design, has consistently delivered transformative innovation and venture capital returns to corporate partners like Mediobanca over the past seven years”.

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