Today, Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) launched a corporate venture capital (CVC) company called “Elevator Ventures”, which will provide € 25 million in investment capital.
Elevator Ventures will focus on strategic direct investments in later-stage fintechs, co-investments with partner investors and investments in VC funds. Later-stage fintechs are young, technology-driven companies from the financial sector (fintechs) that are already on the market with their own products or services.
The term “later-stage” describes the distinction between early-stage start-ups and late-stage companies that are already successfully established on the market. The objective of investing in these later-stage fintechs is to support them in the further scaling of their business models.
The largest fintech accelerator program in CEE
With more than 30 years of expertise in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and an innovative network there, RBI can play an active role in helping fintechs to expand into this dynamic region.
Hannes Cizek, Head of Group Digital Banking at RBI, also emphasizes the importance for the Austrian financial market: “In Austria, there is currently a lack of growth capital for investments in start-ups that are already in a later development phase, have gained initial market experience and now need capital to continue to grow successfully. Elevator Ventures intends to close this capital gap.”
At the same time, RBI can offer its 16.6 million customers access to the latest banking products and services. RBI also expects to benefit from the planned co-investments with partner investors and investments in VC funds.
Next step in RBI’s innovation strategy
Following the successful “Elevator Lab”, now the largest fintech accelerator program in the CEE region, it was a logical step for RBI to also become active on the investment side. RBI can thereby offer potential follow-up investments to the participants of the accelerator program and, at the same time, invest in particularly attractive companies due to the close proximity to fintech ecosystems.
“Elevator Ventures is the next step in our group-wide innovation strategy,” says Johann Strobl, CEO of RBI. “We are planning to use Elevator Ventures soon to set initial steps and support innovative business models and new technologies.”
Managing Directors of Elevator Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary of RBI, are Hannes Cizek (Head of Group Digital Banking, RBI) and Thomas Muchar (Head of Austrian Equity Investments, RBI).
Interested fintechs can contact the Elevator Ventures team via the website www.elevator-ventures.com.