U.S Bank is putting its money where its tech is.
The national bank announced Thursday it is becoming a limited partner in two venture capital firms focused on the expansion of fintech: Fin Venture Capital and Commerce Ventures.
According to U.S. bank, the company chose these VCs because of their work alongside the national banking system and look to “leverage the knowledge and resources of these top tier firms.”
Who are these VCs?
Fin VC invests $500,000 to $10 million at a time through its early-stage strategy and $10 million to $100 million for later-stage deals, according to the firm’s website. It currently has 23 early stage projects in its portfolio including fintech platform SoFi and blockchain payments platform Figure. It’s also got money in Maxwell, Pipe, Samcart, Coinsuper and Synctera to name a few.
Commerce VC looks to partners with platforms focused on the future of retail and financial services and has had 78 companies on its books, some of which have since been acquired or went public, like Bill.com, Marqeta and Updater.
Its banking investments are pretty vast; it has put money towards Moov, Socure, Unison, Canopy, Amino and Paystand among others.
U.S. Bank’s strategy
“We’re active in all areas within fintech,” said David Ness, who leads the fintech engagement group at U.S. Bank. “Through development, investments, partnerships and more — relationships like these are vital as we grow relationships and make strategic decisions.”
According to the release, U.S. Bank has been working to up its fintech game for some time now. Cryptocurrency, distributed ledger technology, tokenization of assets, digitization of credit applications, fraud detection, blockchain in foreign exchange conversion and API integrations all fall under U.S. Banks umbrella of fintech goals.
However, U.S. Bank did admit that while building technology can be a great approach, acquiring that tech is both cheaper and easier. In 2021, its been doing a lot of just that.
“These two investments enhance that even further. It’s about stronger relationships with these innovative companies, deeper access into their focus areas, and earlier engagement in their strategic discussions, thinking and decisions,” Ness added.
Two weeks ago, U.S. Bank announced an agreement to acquire Bento Technologies, known as Bento for Business, a fintech company based in Chicago and San Francisco that provides payment and expense management services to small and mid-size businesses.
It’s also released 2021 partnerships with Securrency, a developer of institutional-grade blockchain-based financial and regulatory technology, an investment in Lumint, a company that provides currency management services to institutional investors and integration with Akoya, an API-based network enabling access to consumer financial data.