Santander InnoVentures – the $100 million fintech venture capital fund of Santander Group – is launching an open competition to encourage and support early stage startups using distributed ledger technologies in the financial services industry.
The Spanish bank is partnering with startup agency OneVest to run the Santander InnoVenture's DL Challenge, which will give entrepreneurs worldwide the opportunity to pitch for a $15,000 grand prize and the promise of future angel investment.
The competition follows Santander InnoVentures' recent $4 million investment in distributed ledger outfit Ripple. This came on the back of a Fintech 2.0 manifesto released by the fund in May which estimated that distributed ledger technology could reduce banks’ infrastructure costs attributable to cross-border payments, securities trading and regulatory compliance by between $15-20 billion per annum by 2022.
For the DL Challenge, the bank has identified mortgage processing, trade finance and asset leasing, as markets ripe for re-invention by blockchain-based business processes.
Mariano Belinky, managing partner of Santander InnoVentures, says: “Distributed ledger technologies will create huge value for customers, banks and entrepreneurs who create new businesses around it. The Challenge will spark and accelerate that process for fintech startups.”
Santander launched the challenge as part of its participation in the tech industry WebSummit event in Dublin, an arena which has typically been the preserve of pure play computing giants such as Google and Microsoft, reflecting the ambitions of the bank to reposition as a leader in the technology-driven fintech space.