Nationwide launches innovation fund
The world’s largest building society has launched a £50m venture fund that will see it invest and partner with early stage startups who are exploring innovative products and services in the property and financial sectors.
Nationwide’s fund is focused on creating partnerships which help solve societal issues and ultimately improve the building society’s members’ lives. As part of the investment, Nationwide will have a senior member of staff with relevant experience to provide support, guidance and expertise to the start-ups selected for investment.
Nationwide’s investments will be focused around seven main themes:
- House and home: Looking at all aspects of how people live their lives in and out of the home
- Personal data and identity: Exploring secure verification, validation and storage of data
- Financial wellness: Driving financial inclusion and wellbeing now and into the future
- Communities and society: People coming together to achieve more than they could as individuals
- Banking as a platform: Exploring the changing role of financial services as consumers evolve
- Operational efficiency: Promoting efficiency and sustainability by investing members money wisely
- New segments: Exploring other areas where we can bring the benefit of mutuality
Tony Prestedge, Nationwide Building Society’s Deputy CEO, said: “The financial services industry has changed dramatically over the last ten years, and continues to evolve at pace as customer experiences are being transformed by innovative organisations and the rise of disruptive technology.
“By investing in early stage startups, we can be at the forefront of helping develop innovative products and services that will benefit our members both now and in the future, allowing us to deliver our ambitious future technology strategy.”
Emma Huntington, who leads innovation and venturing at Nationwide Building Society, added: “Our focus is on developing partnerships which deliver long term benefits to our members. We’ll work together to make the most of our partnerships through sharing experience, our established networks and by drawing on our complementary skills. This is about more than money, and we are excited to learn from our new partners to ensure we deliver real benefits to our organisation, our members and the start-ups.”
The first technology company to receive Nationwide’s support is home management platform, Acasa, which automates and streamlines the process of moving in, managing and moving on for the resident, utility companies and landlords. It also provides a bill-splitting service for housemates, as well as expenses tracking. The platform currently has around 150,000 users.