FinTech & Rabobank
Rabobank has a long track record of joining forces with start-ups in order to tap into rapid innovations and developments in financial technology (FinTech). Besides strategic partnerships and investments in external start-ups, we are also developing innovative start-ups of our own. The aim is to create a future-proof FinTech ecosystem to ensure that we can meet our customers’ needs more quickly and effectively.
Rabobank: beyond traditional banking
Rapid developments in FinTech are having a major impact on the global financial sector, and therefore also on people’s prosperity and well-being throughout the world. The Netherlands has the potential to become a key international FinTech hub. Rabobank wants to play a central role in this development by facilitating and upscaling digital innovations in financial services. We can do this by working together with customers, partners, knowledge institutions and employees.
Developing our own start-ups
Rabobank develops its own FinTech start-ups to make a contribution in the areas of self-sufficiency, entrepreneurship and food. These have arisen from the annual Moonshot programme, which challenges Rabobank employees to suggest innovative ideas to renew the bank. The best plans and the teams with the most potential are given support to develop their concept, validate it and put it into practice through a continuous build-measure-learn process. A couple of examples of start-ups are SurePay and mOOvement (see the illustration below).
The priority for these Rabobank start-ups is to offer new services with added value that meet the changing financial needs of our customers. What they offer often complements traditional banking services, for instance easily accessible bookkeeping services for sole traders (Tellow), or services for easier trading or secure log-in, identification and archiving on websites (Rabo eBusiness).
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Partnerships with external start-ups
For the purpose of investing in FinTech start-ups, Rabobank recently launched its strategic investment division Rabo Frontier Ventures (RFV). This fund has EUR 60 million at its disposal to invest in high-potential start-ups in the FinTech and Food & Agri sectors. RFV helps start-ups, spin-offs and scale-ups to scale up their activities and gain shared value through partnerships with the bank. Besides capital, RFV also offers knowledge, expertise and the Rabobank network. A couple of examples of the companies helped are Peaks and GoCredible. These FinTechs are independent, but make a contribution to Rabobank’s strategy, mission and new revenue models. Combining the flexibility and speed of the FinTechs in which we invest with the reliability and experience of Rabobank, creates new opportunities and helps us accelerate innovations, enabling us to provide even better service to our customers.
Developing the FinTech ecosystem
Rabobank is not only the innovation partner of choice for FinTech start-ups – we also play a similar role for initiatives aimed at further developing the FinTech ecosystem. For instance through our partnerships with Startupbootcamp, StartupDelta and 69 regional incubators in the Netherlands, including UtrechtInc and YES!Delft. Rabobank also participates in Holland Fintech, an independent platform that brings together financial institutions, tech firms and investors in a single network to encourage technological innovation in the Dutch financial sector.
We promote innovation on an international scale as well. A couple of examples are FoodBytes! and Terra. FoodBytes! brings start-ups and scale-ups in the Food & Agri sector into contact with potential investors, customers and venture capital providers. This enables these companies to accelerate their innovations. Terra is the F&A tech accelerator developed by Rabobank in partnership with the incubator RocketSpace. It brings the sector’s most disruptive start-ups into contact with progressive companies to enable them to cooperate on pilots to boost cross-industry innovation. This ensures maximum advantage is gained from the knowledge and networks of big companies in combination with the innovative nature of start-ups. These initiatives also benefit the FinTech ecosystem and, last but not least, our customers.