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Web and technology George Dunning and Edward Maslaveckas, cofounders of Bud.

Banco Sabadell's digital business hub, InnoCells, makes its first investment

  • InnoCells has co-led an investment round of 1.6 million euros in the British financial services platform Bud.
  • Bud has agreements with over 60 financial service firms that it links together with retail banks in the UK.

InnoCells, Banco Sabadell’s hub of new digital business, has co-led its first investment round in Bud, the leading UK platform in aggregating financial services and products into a single marketplace. The start-up has raised a total of £1.5 million (around €1.6 million) in seed capital from different investors.

InnoCells has carried out the investment through its corporate venture vehicle, InnoCapital, created to carry out strategic digital and technological series A and B investments in seed companies engaged in areas of interest for Banco Sabadell Group.

Bud has agreements with over 60 financial service firms that it links together with retail banks in the UK, allowing financial institutions to innovate at a fast pace and improve customers’ experience.

Bud began as a B2C (Business to Consumer) service intended to aggregate different financial products that were tailored and adapted to customers’ requirements into a single platform in order to sell them to customers directly. The high demand for this service has led them to shift their business model to its current format, B2B (Business to Business).

Ed Maslaveckas, Bud's CEO, commented: "We recognise that fintech companies are providing quicker and more commercial products for consumers, but banks maintain 99% of the relationships when it comes to money. By connecting the two sides, everyone can benefit; banks, fintech and, most importantly, end customers."

Julio Martínez, Executive Director of InnoCells, stated that “investing in Bud is a great example of the benefits of bringing together the start-up world and the corporate world. At InnoCells we support the efforts of start-ups like Bud that are marking a turning point in the materialisation of the platform model within the banking industry. The evolution of the digital relationship model with our customers is increasingly transforming the nature and sale of the financial product and service offering.”

InnoCells explores opportunities for strategic co-operation with start-ups, fintech companies, digital players and the entire outside innovation ecosystem to generate value for Banco Sabadell Group customers using hybrid models that are based on the concept of a product and service platform.

Bud is regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and has received a number of awards since its launch in 2015. In 2017 it earned the award for Innovation of the Year at the British Bank Awards.


Banco Sabadell and innovation

Banco Sabadell’s overall support strategy for start-ups includes funding, capital investment and innovation from different divisions of the bank. The BStartup Division was created in 2013, with specialised branches located throughout Spain, allowing start-ups to access specialised banking services and funding. In the same year, it created its investment vehicle, BStartup10, for early-stage start-ups. In 2015, it set up Sabadell Venture Capital for capital investments and Venture Debt of up to 2 million euros in seed-stage and Series A-stage start-ups. 2017 marked the creation of InnoCells, the hub of new digital businesses, and its corporate venture, InnoCapital. Banco Sabadell has dedicated over 130 million euros to start-ups, both in funding and in investment, with over 2,500 customers of this type and 47 start-up companies in its portfolio.

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