MiddleGame Ventures Announces €150m FinTech-Focused Fund
~ fund achieves first close and targets early stage financial services technology pioneers ~
Luxembourg, Nov 25 – MiddleGame Ventures (MGV), a fintech-focused investment firm, announced today that it had raised a new fund targeting post-seed, series A and series B lead investments in Europe and North America.
MGV’s Venture Fund I has achieved its first close, with a final close target size of €150MM. It will invest in and partner with B2B and B2B2C startups driving the transformation of financial services from analog to digital and from centralized to decentralized, with an emphasis on middleware and back office solutions. Its remit extends to enabling technologies such as RegTech, Digital Identities, “FinData” and crypto-enabled infrastructure across banking, asset management, insurance, payments, and capital markets.
The Luxembourg Future Fund (LFF) and the European Investment Fund (EIF) are anchor investors in the new MGV fund, whilst S&P Global is included among other institutional, strategic and family office investors. The fund remains open to additional institutional and private investors ahead of a final close later in 2020.
FinTech investment veteran Pascal Bouvier is co-founder of MGV along with Michael Meyer and Patrick Pinschmidt. Pascal said: “We are pleased to have new capital from substantial investors to support great, transformational businesses across Europe and the US with our highly focused fund. Our investors agree that specialist funds with experience working with entrepreneurs, incumbent financial institutions and regulators are best placed to thrive in an environment characterised by financial and technological cross-currents and significant regulatory constraints. We are excited to put our platform to work on behalf of investors and the next wave of innovators solving hard problems and re-architecting the industry.”
Patrick Nickels, chairperson of the Luxembourg Future Fund Board of Directors, added: “We are pleased to be an investor of MiddleGame Ventures fund aiming to support early stage FinTech companies. The Luxembourg Future Fund believes this commitment will help to strengthen the FinTech industry in Europe and generate positive spillovers in Luxembourg. This is a strategic sector for Luxembourg for economic diversification and we are delighted to contribute to its continuing development.”
“We are delighted to be supporting MiddleGame Ventures as an anchor investor in its new fund," said the EIF’s chief executive Pier Luigi Gilibert. “The EIF has a strong commitment to innovation in Europe, and we hope that this fund, with its focus on FinTech entrepreneurs, will assist us in that goal.”
MGV partners have invested over USD $300 million in early stage financial services firms over the past decade including Ripple, Tandem Bank, SimpleSurance, Coverhound and CompareAsia. MGV’s new fund has already made three representative investments in a capital markets digital platform and banking as a service and big data analytics startups in the UK (Nivaura, Railsbank and Gardenia Technologies).
About MiddleGame Ventures
MiddleGame Ventures (MGV) is a leading financial services technology venture capital firm. Its focus is on supporting innovation in the financial sector as organisations reinvent themselves to compete and service clients in the digital age.
Central to MGV’s thesis is that disruption in banking, payments, capital markets, asset management and insurance business models by new intermediaries will drive a fundamental re-architecting of incumbents and create entirely new value chains.
MGV is well-positioned to help this financial services renaissance based on the founding team’s extensive investment, operational and regulatory experience.
MGV was established in 2018 by Pascal Bouvier, Michael Meyer and Patrick Pinschmidt. Bouvier and Meyer have substantial FinTech investment experience having co-founded Route 66 Ventures and consulted with Santander InnoVentures. Pinschmidt was a senior official at the US Treasury Department following a decade as a sell-side research analyst covering financial services for Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.
MGV is headquartered in Luxembourg with offices in Dublin and Washington DC.
MGV also owns and operates NadiFin, a growth stage accelerator for European startups (www.nadifin.com) based out of Luxembourg.
For more information on the MGV team, strategy and portfolio, please visit www.middlegamevc.com.
About the European Investment Fund
The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. EIF’s central mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.
About the Luxembourg Future Fund
The Luxembourg Future Fund (LFF) is a EUR 150 million equity fund set up in 2015 by the Société Nationale de Crédit et d’Investissement (SNCI) and the European Investment Fund (EIF) and combines a EUR 120 million commitment from SNCI with EUR 30 million from the EIF. In addition to its role as investor, EIF acts as the adviser of LFF, performing investment advisory, operational, reporting and execution tasks. The LFF invests in Venture Capital funds and co-invests in early and growth stage innovative technology SMEs. Its objective is to provide its investors with a risk commensurate return on investments while at the same time fostering the sustainable development and diversification of the Luxembourgish economy.
Telephone: (1) 202-750-4622
We are very pleased to announce that we completed the first close of our new fund. As every entrepreneur knows, fundraising has its own very special challenges, so this is an important milestone ahead of our final close later next year. We are now officially “in business” and are looking forward to investing in post-seed, series A and series B startups in Europe and North America. In anticipation of our first close, we have already made three investments in early stage fintech startups via a short term warehouse facility.
As part of our investment activity, Pascal Bouvier, one of our co-founders, will relocate to Luxembourg and oversee all MGV European activities, while co-founder Michael Meyer will remain in Washington DC and oversee MGV’s US activities. Our third co-founder, Patrick Pinschmidt, will focus primarily on Europe.
No matter where we are based, the three of us will be spending a lot of time on the road. Over the coming months we look forward to meeting b2b and b2b2c early stage startups in Europe and North America that are reinventing digital assets, data management and core systems (amongst other things) across the key verticals in financial services.
Finally, a special thanks to all those who have helped us get to this point. We are looking forward to the next phase of our journey with our excellent base of LPs, service providers, and ecosystem partners across our broader network. We are very excited about the road ahead. It is a pivotal time to be a venture investor in the market looking to back the best teams with the best ideas.
Facebook’s consortium project, Libra, has the potential to disrupt traditional business models in retail banking, payments, and retail asset management (in addition to regulatory and monetary policy). While there are many variables that will impact how this will all play out and there are significant technology, privacy, regulatory, and security concerns that could stop this project in its tracks, a meaningful new front has opened up in the evolution of western financial services that warrants discussion.
The Next Wave Of Fintech Will Be A Tsunami vs The First Fintech Wave
(Editorial Note: This is a high-level, big picture post that might not be suitable for hardened financial technology geeks. Don’t worry, we’ll have more for you in subsequent posts.)
It used to be that financial services intermediaries were to a large extent immune to outside innovation. While entire industries have been obliterated or reimaged over the last 30 years by waves of technological innovation (think retail, entertainment, or travel), financial services has remained relatively unscathed. Yes, electronic exchanges have replaced physical trading pits, online brokers and ETFs have replaced stock brokers, and cards have largely replaced paper checks. But even today, despite the hype around fintech, the core systems, operations, and players (outside of payments) remain fundamentally the same. We do not believe this will be the case a decade from today.
We are very pleased to announce the launch of Nadifin, a new European fintech accelerator. Nadifin will be based out of Luxembourg and will offer a yearly accelerator program based on multiple workshops in different European cities.
Nivaura Poised for Growth Following $20m Strategic Seed Investment Round
Investors include Allen & Overy, Linklaters, London Stock Exchange Group, MiddleGame Ventures, Santander InnoVentures and Transamerica Ventures (a wholly owned Aegon subsidiary).
Pascal, Patrick and I are pleased to announce the MGV team publicly for the first time. You can read Pascal's blog post here for further details. We will announce further details on our fund, investment themes, ecosystem activities, specific investments, and added team members over the coming months. Stay tuned...