Westpac puts another $50 million into VC fund Reinventure
Westpac Banking Corp has triple-downed on its corporate venture capital fund Reinventure Group, investing a further $50 million into a third fund to bring its total commitment to early stage fintechs to $150 million.
A week after Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer described the 20 start-up investments made by Reinventure’s first two $50 million funds as a new “strategic asset” for the bank, Westpac is providing Reinventure co-founders Danny Gilligan and Simon Cant with an additional $50 million to be invested under a more flexible structure.
The third fund will consist of a unit trust stapled to an early stage venture capital limited partnerships (ESVCLPs), a new structure that will allow it to make more investments in overseas start-ups – the fund will target potential investments in Asia – and invest more broadly than equity.
Conceptually, this could include investing in cryptocurrencies. The fund will also explore opportunities around the theme of decentralisation of financial system infrastructure, including open blockchain.
Westpac’s confidence to back a third fund comes even though none of Reinventure’s 20 investments from the first or second funds have been sold, so no profits or losses have been crystalised.
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