Banco Santander and mobile money vendor Monitise have formed a £20 million joint venture that will invest in and help build fintech startups.
Launching later this year, the 50:50 JV promises to give fintech firms a boost through cash and access to one of the world's largest banks and Monitises's new cloud-based platform for connecting banks to digital services.
Each firm has committed up to £10 million over two years to the fund, which will be led by Santander's Julio Faura, and chaired by Alastair Lukies, the Monitise founder who stepped down from the board earlier this year.
The new venture will provide a welcome boost to Monitise, which will benefit from a multi-million pound upfront licence fee, as well as the potential of ongoing revenues and additions to its client portfolio.
In November Santander paid £33 million for a five per cent stake in loss-making Monitise. Earlier this year the mobile money outfit scrapped plans to find a buyer and vowed to become profitable next year, thanks in large part by increasing its user base from 33 million to 200 million.
Santander has enthusiastically embraced the fintech startup world, setting up its own $100 million fund and forming partnerships with the likes of P2P lender Funding Circle.