The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order): Manuel Silva Martinez, Santander InnoVentures
Manuel Silva Martinez has been partner and head of investments at Santander InnoVentures since mid-2016.
Santander InnoVentures (SIV) is Spain-based Banco Santander’s $200m corporate venturing unit backing fintech startups globally, across all stages, to “create meaningful, strategic relationships between our portfolio companies and Santander Group”.
Martinez manages the entire investment team and sits on the boards of Elliptic, Tradeshift, Pixoneye, ePesos, Autofi and Creditas, and is part of Payjoy’s advisers committee.
He had been a partner for the year before becoming head of investments and portfolio companies included iZettle, MyCheck, CYNGN, Ripple, Kabbage, Digital Asset Holdings, Elliptic, SigFig, Socure, Tradeshift, PayKey, Gridspace, Pixoneye, Curve, Payjoy, ePesos, Visible Alpha, Roostify, Autofi and Creditas.
Santander added $6.7m in 2013 to Sweden-based, corporate-backed mobile payment technology provider iZettle, which this month said it would raise up to Skr2bn ($226m) in an initial public offering on the Nasdaq Stockholm market in Sweden.
Founded in 2010, iZettle provides both mini card readers and payment software that enables merchants to accept chip, swipe or contactless payments, including through platforms such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay.
Of its recent deals last year, online lender Kabbage raised $250m from SoftBank, while Santander invested in ePesos and Socure and Curve.
Santander InnoVentures focuses on portfolio companies with which it can seal a commercial partnership, and the model’s success was behind the fund size being doubled earlier this year, Mariano Belinky, now CEO of Santander Asset Management told Global Corporate Venturing.
Financial services firm Santander formed InnoVentures almost two years ago, putting $100m into the fund, since when it has invested in fintech companies including alternative lender Kabbage and financial settlement platform Ripple, as well as those like mobile operating system developer Cyanogen, which are working on adjacent technologies.
Santander doubled InnoVentures’ capital to $200m in July this year, and Belinky said the strategy of the unit, which he described as “a strategic investor that does not like losing money,” involves looking at potential partners that can create value for Santander’s customers.
“We focus on companies we can partner with, where we can have a commercial agreement,” Belinky said. “I think through the investments we have made since the fund’s inception in December 2014, the model has worked well for the bank.
“We have a couple of good early cases where the partnerships are working well, and it is a model the bank seems to like, and so the doubling up of the fund has to do with the bank seeing this as a valuable model to capture some of the innovation and disruption happening in the fintech space.”
Earlier Martinez had been vice-president at peer, BBVA Ventures (spun out to form Propel) for four years until June 2015 where he also oversaw deal flow in Latin America (in particular Mexico and Colombia) and Europe.
Some of his deals at BBVA included fund commitments to 500 Startups and Ribbit Capital, and direct investments into SaveUp, Radius, SumUp, FreeMonee, Kasisto, Simple, Taulia, Personal Capital, DocuSign, Prosper, and Insikt.
From 2006 he been first associate, then senior associate and finally vice-president in the strategy and corporate development group at BBVA where he initiated the department’s innovation practice.