UK building society Nationwide has joined the fintech venture fund party, putting aside £50 million to invest in promising startups.
The mutual will be focussed around seven main themes: house and home; personal data and identity; financial wellness; community and society; banking-as-a-platform; operational efficiency; and new segments.
Nationwide says that the fund is part of its efforts to stay at the forefront of innovation, as it seeks to take on its larger high street rivals as well as a host of new digital-first challengers.
The building society is stressing that it is not simply looking to pump money into startups, but will also offer direct product development support, arguing that its mutual status means it will focus on long-term partnerships.
Tony Prestedge, deputy CEO, Nationwide, says: “By investing in early stage startups, we can be at the forefront of helping develop innovative products and services that will benefit our members both now and in the future, allowing us to deliver our ambitious future technology strategy.”
The fund has already made its first investment, backing acasa, a prop-tech startup focussed on supporting both landlords and tenants living in shared accommodation with their everyday finances.
Nick Katz, CEO, acasa, says: “Partnering with Nationwide is going to allow us to accelerate our growth plans, deliver on our mission and make renting better for everyone in the UK and beyond.”