Israeli tech investment group Viola Ventures has raised $100 million with the backing of a pool of asset managers, banks and insurance companies towards the creation of a $150 million dedicated fintech investment fund.
Fund backers from the financial sphere include Scotiabank, The Travelers Companies, and Bank Hapoalim. The investment group says the money will be invested globally in fintech companies alongside leading venture investors with the mission to bridge the gap between financial institutions and innovative startups.
The fund is led by Danial Tsiddon, a former deputy CEO of Bank Leumi and chair of the bank's investment arm Leumi Partners.
“This fund provides financial institutions with the optimal response to cope with the fast-changing environment," he says. "As regulatory, technological and cultural gaps all work to slow innovation adoption, Viola FinTech accelerates the integration of innovative ideas into financial institutions while providing the necessary resources to FinTech companies as they scale to transform the financial sector.”
For Scotiabank, participation in the fund is expected to open up access to Israeli expertise in technology and cybersecurity, says Ignacio Deschamps who is leading the bank's transformation project.
“We are delighted to partner with Viola Group to accelerate the Bank’s digital transformation and find the most promising FinTech companies across the globe,” he says. “This partnership will allow us to access Israel’s innovation ecosystem, including well-established cybersecurity and anti-fraud expertise by leveraging Viola’s unique access to relevant companies and technologies.”
Founded in 2000, Viola’s team includes over 30 investment professionals and 40 support staff, and has invested in over 200 technology companies.