This morning Rakuten announced they established a $100 million fintech fund: http://ow.ly/UD8wl.
We’re genuinely excited for the Japanese e-commerce giant, but we’ve heard this story before. We’ve now lost track of how many FinTech incubators are out there. Lots of governments and cities seem to have one (Dublin, London, NYC and Hong Kong being the biggest). Large and small banks — JPM, Santander and Citi to name a few — around the world have made announcements in recent years that they have created their own, with the intent to get closer to the innovators, invest in the future of their own core business and better serve their customers. How is this really different from their internal VC funds or corporate development arms? Well we’ll leave that discussion for another post.
The consulting companies (E&Y and Accenture) also have their own, and enjoy the innovative work that the incubators feed to their deep bench of talent.
The space seems to be getting crowded though.
We would be happy to hear your thoughts.