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The 2016 Fintech Finance 35: Mariano Belinky

< Fintech's Most Powerful Dealmakers of 201615. Mariano BelinkyManaging PartnerSantander InnoVenturesLast year: 15

When corporate venture capital investments hit their mark, they have a direct strategic impact on the parent’s business. Santander InnoVentures, the London-based strategic investing unit of Spain’s Banco Santander, showed how it’s done after participating in a $135 million Series E financing for Atlanta-based Kabbage in November 2015. Santander UK began working with the online lender in January to create an automated underwriting platform that delivers almost immediate decisions on small- and medium-size-business loan applications. “If you’re a small business in the U.K., it takes up to four weeks to get an answer from a bank,” says InnoVentures managing partner Mariano Belinky. “We’ve taken that to minutes. In ten minutes you have an answer.” Also in the U.K., Santander in May released a pilot app for international payments, using the blockchain technology of San Francisco–based Ripple, in which InnoVentures made a $4 million Series A investment in October 2015. “We’re making good progress with our portfolio companies in terms of adding value to them and them adding value to Santander and our clients,” says Belinky, 41, a former McKinsey & Co. principal who took charge of the venture fund five months after it was launched in July 2014 with $100 million. Some 70 percent of that original amount has been placed in 12 portfolio companies. In July of this year, Banco Santander put an additional $100 million into InnoVentures, in part to focus more on Latin America — exploring applications for financial inclusion, such as microlending and micropayments — and to make “a big push toward artificial intelligence,” says Belinky, who completed five years of doctoral studies in AI at Barcelona’s Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in 2009. In March, InnoVentures took part in a $5 million Series A round for London-based Elliptic, which applies machine learning in blockchain monitoring and compliance, and in June it bought an undisclosed stake in Socure, a New York company that uses pattern recognition in verifying digital identities. The latter is an example of what Belinky calls a “by-the-way business model. I like when an entrepreneur comes to me and says, ‘We’ve solved X and, by the way, we are using AI.’”


 The 2016 Fintech Finance 35 Click below to view profiles
1. Jonathan KorngoldGeneral Atlantic2. Matthew HarrisBain Capital Ventures3. Jane GladstoneEvercore Partners4. James Robinson III & James
Robinson IV
RRE Ventures5. Steven McLaughlinFinancial Technology Partners6. Amy Nauiokas & Sean ParkAnthemis Group
7. Richard Garman &
Brad Bernstein
FTV Capital8. Gerard
von Dohlen
Broadhaven Capital Partners9. Darren CohenGoldman Sachs Group10. Hans MorrisNyca Partners11. Meyer (Micky) MalkaRibbit Capital12. Maria GotschPartnership Fund for New York City
13. Barry SilbertDigital Currency Group14. Jay ReinemannPropel Venture Partners15. Mariano BelinkySantander InnoVentures16. Justin Brownhill & Neil DeSenaSenaHill Partners17. François RobinetAXA Strategic Ventures18. Vanessa ColellaCiti Ventures
19. Michael SchleinAccion International20. Kenneth MarlinMarlin & Associates21. Rumi MoralesCME Ventures22. Alastair (Alex) RampellAndreessen Horowitz23. Steve GibsonEuclid Opportunities24. Fabian VandenreydtSWIFT
25. Vladislav SolodkiyLife.SREDA26. Gardiner Garrard IIITTV Capital27. Nektarios LioliosStartupbootcamp Fintech28. Lawrence WintermeyerInnovate Finance29. Bina KalolaBank of America Merrill Lynch30. Hyder JaffreyFintech Innovation
31. Calvin ChoiAMTD Group32. Janos BarberisFinTech
Hong Kong33. Jalak JobanputraFuture Perfect Ventures34. Sopnendu MohantyMonetary Authority of Singapore35. Oskar Mielczarek
de la Miel
Rakuten
FinTech Fund