Barclays has launched a venture capital-style investment division and hopes the new unit will provide a ‘material contribution’ to the bank’s bottom line between now and 2025.
Barclays UK Ventures will be led by Ben Davey, formerly the bank’s head of strategy who told the Financial Times that he had been granted ‘a relatively unfettered mandate’.
He listed machine learning, blockchain and intelligent contracts as examples of the types of technology he and his team expect to invest in. He added that this will represent ‘at least one truly transformational new business line’.
In addition to equity investments, Davey expects the bank will be interested in joint ventures and other collaborative structures.
‘We’re going to be very open minded on operating models with the best of these ideas’, he said.
The bank did not reveal how much it would be committing to the new unit, but Davey said he was ‘very comfortable’ with the level of financial support.