Barclays Bank has set up a venture capital unit through which it will invest in and collaborate with tech companies in an attempt to find new opportunities that would help them drive innovation and growth. This new unit will be led by its former head of strategy, Ben Davey, who will join the bank’s UK executive committee as part of the move.
Davey said, “We intend to drive this initiative by building a strong team of technologists, developers and entrepreneurs within BUKV, mandated to operate independently of, but in partnership with, our core operations. The way we will work as a team will look and feel very much like a start-up or scale-up operation, so that we can move at pace in order to realize and deliver long-term value for Barclays customers and shareholders.”
Known as BUKV, this new unit will form a team of technologists and entrepreneurs to undertake standard equity stakes in firms and contemplate investing in commercial partnerships and ideas that are developed internally. As of now, Barclays has not disclosed any details about the amount that would be used for BUKV investments. However, they are looking forward to matching with their top-ranking peers such as Santander and Credit Suisse, considering that these companies were recently acknowledged by CB Insights as the biggest investors who are into third-party fintech firms.
Davey exhibited hopes in this venture stating that this unit may well add billions to the bank’s revenue by 2025. He also stated that this unit will explore opportunities in technologies like artificial intelligence with the objective of developing at least one new product line that would prove to be transformational.
Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of Barclays UK, said: “We live in a very exciting time for our industry where the deployment of new technology is making new business models and partnerships possible for the first time. We are a growth business and Ben’s appointment will put real weight behind this new unit to provide new lines of revenue growth in addition to the organic growth of our core business.”