Nordea sets up fintech fund; invests in Betalo

Nordea has become the latest bank to set up a venture fund to invest in fintech startups and gain a headstart in the race towards digitalisation.

The bank has not revealed the size of the fund but says that it will focus on Nordic firms with “scalable business models and unique solutions”.

Casper von Koskull, Group CEO, Nordea, says: “We want to play an active role in developing new technologies for the financial sector from early on. It’s not just about providing capital, but also about engaging with start-ups and sharing our expertise.”

Nordea, in common with all major banks, has been looking to make investments in fintech firms for some time, recently putting money into Swedish PFM startup Tink.

The new fund will see it follow the likes of Santander, Credit Suisse, BBVA, ING and others in formalising the process.

For its first investment since setting up the new fund, Nordea has taken a sizeable stake in mobile money outfit Betalo, joining existing shareholders in a Skr45 million raise. This follows a deal struck with the five-year old firm in March for Nordea to offer Betalo’s mobile money service to the bank’s 1.8 million private customers. The app offers consumers and small businesses the possibility to use a card to send money abroad, transfer to Swedish bank accounts, and make bill payments.

Erik Zingmark, head of transaction banking at Nordea says: “We want to be able to offer our customers simple and smart digital banking services, and Betalo is exactly in the sweet spot here.”