Santander InnoVentures’ goal is to help FinTech startups leverage our brand, network and know-how to help scale their businesses and reach critical mass in a competitive industry. We’ve developed a process to help us identify companies who can benefit from our support and can also provide value for our customers.
Although we do try to review all the incoming deal flow, the best way to get our attention is to reach us through a shared connection. These can be people we invest in, funds we co-invest with, advisors or people that work with us.
In most cases we don’t need a full-blown business plan. We prefer a summarised, straight-to-the-point document that answers the following questions:
- What is your product/business and why is it different from the solutions already available?
- What stage are you currently at?
- What are you looking for in this potential relationship?
- And very importantly: Why is Santander the right partner for your business at this stage?
If we like what we see, we’ll get in touch and invite you to pitch during our office hours.
Every other Thursday, our senior team and in some cases external advisors meet at our office for a half day. During this time we meet several start-ups that we find interesting, so we can get to know more about them, their visions and their teams. This is also a great chance for you to assess if we are the right partners for you.
Business validation and internal champion
After the initial meeting, we may follow up with a more detailed description of the opportunity and business. At this stage, we’ll spend more time with you and bring in some of our bank’s business and innovation experts. These experts live and breathe the banking business, and the goal is to be able to validate some assumptions and help create a shared vision of our partnership.
If we come up with a compelling partnership opportunity, we’ll identify an internal champion from one of our banking units who can make sure that, if we go ahead with the investment, your start-up will get the attention and resources it needs.
During this phase, which normally takes between 2 and 3 weeks, we’ll also outline the terms of a possible investment and confirm with the start-up (and any possible co-investor) that these terms would be acceptable.
The final step is taking your company to the fund’s Investment Committee. The fund’s team will do this jointly with the business sponsor. If the Investment Committee approves the investment, we’ll send you a formal term sheet, usually within 24 hours, and start the due diligence after we all agree on the terms.