Santander InnoVentures Invests in Digital Identity Verification Firm Socure

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Santander InnoVentures, the fintech venture capital fund of Santander Group, recently announced its strategic investment in Socure – an industry leader focused on real-time digital identity verification solutions.

Socure, headquartered in New York, utilises trusted data from the digital footprint of consumers, including social media, to accurately and efficiently confirm the identity of consumers in real-time. Socure is primarily used within financial institutions for activities such as the opening of new bank accounts or the issuing of credit/debit cards. The technology has further applications across fraud prevention and compliance, ensuring firms meet requirements of directives such as anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. Current Socure customers include Kabbage and StashInvest, and partners Feedzai.

Mariano Belinky, Managing Partner at Santander InnoVentures, said:

“Identity verification is a crucial step in any banking process and is an issue challenging many consumer-facing businesses – there’s a huge opportunity for innovation in this space, in line with the evolution of digital identity and the issues around it, and we believe Socure are at the forefront of it.”

Belinky continued:

“Socure also has enormous potential for tackling the issue of financial inclusion in emerging markets, where citizens may be excluded from the banking system simply because they lack traditional credit records used for identity verification. In this situation, the Socure ID+ technology goes beyond conventional identity verification methods, opening new possibilities in untapped markets and segments. More broadly, Socure offers us the opportunity to better understand our customers, and better predict their needs.”

Sunil Madhu, Founder and CEO of Socure said:

“With this latest funding announcement, we’re extremely excited to continue our work in tackling the issues associated with identity fraud, while continuing to improve access to the financial system for the un-banked and under-banked, whether in established economies or emerging markets. With the track record and the global capability of Grupo Santander behind them, we felt Mariano and the team were a perfect fit as a VC partner that can help us grow globally.”

Meanwhile, the senior executive vice president of Strategy at Grupo Santander, Víctor Matarranz, explained today that the bank is accelerating its digital transformation through partnerships with technology companies that are global pioneers in several financial solutions that contribute to the progress of people and companies, and make their lives easier.

Matarranz, who participated today in the MoneyConf financial technology conference held in Madrid, highlighted the advantages of combining the agility and disruptive mentality of fintech companies with the international reach of banks such as Santander, which has more than 120 million customers in Europe and America, a robust infrastructure, guaranteed deposits and extensive experience in risk and regulation. “We believe the flexibility of fintech companies, and experience and soundness of banks such as Santander form the perfect partnership, good for startups and good for banks like Santander, as it helps us accelerate our digital transformation,” said Matarranz in his keynote at MoneyConf, sponsored by Banco Santander.

This latest investment is Santander InnoVentures’ ninth since its creation in 2014 – other recent investments include digital wealth advisory platform SigFig, and blockchain intelligence firm Elliptic. For more information on previous Santander InnoVentures investments, and the strategic investment philosophy behind the fund, please visit http://santanderinnoventures.com/

About Richard Kastelein

Founder of industry publication Blockchain News, partner at ICO services collective CryptoAsset Design Group (helped raise over $200m+), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) and ICO event organiser at leading industry event  CryptoFinancing (first ICO event in Europe) - Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of half a dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1200 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat.
 
Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London, Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, San Mateo, Shanghai,Tel Aviv and Venice. His network is global and extensive.
 
He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French.
 
A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world.
 
In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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