After talk of raising a new fund emerged earlier this year, venture capital firm Reinventure Group has announced the closing of its second $50 million fund to continue its investment in tech startups, with key investor Westpac doubling down on its support.
Cofounders Simon Cant and Danny Gilligan said the second fund will continue to take a long term view of where financial services and “adjacent industries” are going.
In the financial services space it will be focusing in particular on the “horizontal layers” that make up financial services, such as credit, security, identity, data, and trust, while also looking to industries where financial services are embedded within the product such as health, real estate, retail, services, and agriculture.
“Given our country’s strong financial services sector and increasingly progressive regulatory regime and fintech policy settings, we have a great opportunity to drive an agenda for fintech that places us on the map as a powerful global epicenter,” Cant said.
Gary Thursby, Chief Strategy Officer at Westpac and chair of Reinventure’s investment committee, said the bank looks forward to partnering with leading entrepreneurs who are developing solutions to real customer problems.
“The Australian fintech industry is developing rapidly and we continue to be impressed by the quality of the talent, ideas and technology that exists in the startups. Our vision is to be one of the world’s great services companies and we believe the adoption of new customer-focused technologies is an important step in achieving this goal,” he said.
Gilligan added, “Westpac’s commitment to supporting this agenda ensures the development of strong strategic partnerships between the incumbents and emerging players, which will be key to the success of the industry more broadly.”
Launched in 2014, Reinventure currently counts 10 startups in its portfolio, from community social network Nabo to big data platform Zetaris, and coffee ordering app Hey You. It has also invested in US bitcoin startup Coinbase, and financial services platforms Society One and Valiant Finance.
In addition to its investment in Reinventure, over the last two years Westpac has continually sought out new opportunities across the startup landscape. It has been running the Westpac Innovation Challenge with BlueChilli, covering areas such as agritech and healthtech, and also opened an innovation centre, The Hive, in 2014.
It is also keeping an eye on the local startup space through its role as partner at Sydney fintech hub Stone and Chalk and by partnering with startups themselves, with Prospa and Octet among them.
Image: Simon Cant and Danny Gilligan.