BBVA Ventures exec joins Santander InnoVentures

BBVA Ventures exec joins Santander InnoVentures

Banco Santander's fintech venture fund has poached Manuel Silva Martinez, a founding member of a similar fund at rival Spanish bank BBVA.

As first picked up by Financial News, Martinez became a partner at Santander InnoVentures this month, moving to London to work with the $100 million fintech fund.

Previously, he had been based in San Francisco as a vice president of BBVA Ventures, a similar fund which he helped to set up in 2011.

BBVA and Martinez were pioneers of the bank-owned fund model, recognising the need to work with the rash of fintech startups transforming the financial services market, investing in the likes of SumUp, DocuSign and Prosper.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Martinez focused on alternative financial products and delivery channels, financial inclusion and digital marketing, and oversaw deal flow in Latin America and Europe.

Led by former McKinsey & Co man Mariano Belinky, Santander InnoVentures is only a year old with a focus on e-commerce and payments, online lending and investing, and big data analytics. So far it has invested in MyCheck and Android operating system outfit Cyanogen.

Earlier this week the fund published a manifesto it co-authored on 'Fintech 2.0', in which Belinky warned that "funds alone are not enough," adding that "to move to the next phase of evolution in financial services, banks need to invite fintechs to work within our industry, even inside our own businesses".

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