National Australia Bank is investing an additional $50 million in its corporate venture capital fund NAB Ventures, taking the total fund to $100 million until 2020.
Todd Forest managing director at NAB Ventures said the company is doubling down on backing innovative third-party companies that can bring desired assets to the bank to help enhance customer experiences.
He said the company will be looking for investments to help the ‘back end’ of NAB, meaning less customer facing and more CRM or information tracking.
He notes this will help NAB’s bankers and wealth advisors to be far more effective with their clients directly.
Since announcing the fund in 2015, NAB Ventures has made 12 investments in start-ups both in Australia and overseas as it aims to tap into the latest technologies and trends by building closer links with leading fintech companies.
Forest said, “By engaging with, investing in and partnering with leading start-ups, NAB Ventures continues to provide NAB with exposure to best-in class digital capabilities and propositions that will enable it to respond to the radical technology driven changes that are impacting both NAB and its customers.
“Beyond financial capital, we work with our portfolio companies to establish collaboration within NAB and create opportunities to drive positive outcomes for all stakeholders. We are focused on delivering long term strategic benefits, in working with start-ups from the bottom up and optimising opportunities to drive value into NAB, whether by efficiency gains or enhancing the customer experience.”
Melissa Widner, general partner at NAB Ventures said, “Two and a half years has gone quickly, and I’m proud of the investments we have made, the progress of the companies we have invested in and the opportunities we are helping to unlock.
“We’ve spoken to thousands of start-ups, tracked more than 1500 companies and looked at more than 300 serious opportunities. We’re very strategic about the companies we invest in, being those start-ups we truly believe we can help grow and create long-term shared value.
“Making sure we embrace the right trends to deliver new customer solutions within NAB is at the core of what we do and it’s exciting to be part of an organisation that is committed to backing bold entrepreneurs with great ideas that could benefit customers.
“Our value is not limited to the dollars we invest; for example, our investment in Medipass Solutions has helped deliver the HICAPS Go ‘Uber-like’ experience, with a seamless digital application that allows patients to locate, book, claim and pay for health practitioner appointments from their mobile device.”
The NAB corporate venture capital fund was established in January 2016.