Banco Santander has launched Mouro Capital, a new, autonomously managed venture capital fund focused on fintechs and adjacent businesses linked with the financial services industry, doubling allocated funds to $400m.
The fund will be managed autonomously, leading funding rounds with initial investments of up to $15m in companies across Europe and the Americas.
Mouro Capital will manage the existing portfolio of Santander Innoventures, which was established in 2014 with an initial $100 million allocation, increasing to $200 million two years later. Since then, the fund has invested in 36 startups in Europe and the Americas.
The corporate venture fund and has a globally diversified portfolio, both geographically and thematically within fintech. It has been an early investor in companies such as Ripple, Tradeshift and Upgrade. It has already had some noteworthy realisations, including, for example, the sale of iZettle to PayPal in 2018 for $2 billion, and Kabbage last month.
Santander Innoventures has delivered financial returns, with internal rate of returns (IRR) in 25-35% range since inception in 2014 and a c.1.75x cash-on-cash multiple portfolio-wide, with older, more mature cohorts reaching above 3-4x cash-on-cash returns.
Mouro will be led by general partner Manuel Silva Martínez, who joined Innoventures five years ago and has led the fund since 2018, and senior advisor Chris Gottschalk, who joined from Blumberg Capital in 2019.
The decision to spin out its investment arm is another milestone in Santander’s four-year (2019-2022) €20 billion digital and technology investment plan. The group is accelerating its digital and commercial transformation to maintain its operational excellence while constantly improving the customer experience and innovative services it brings to customers.