Barclays Sets Up New Venture Capital-Style Unit

Nicholas Megaw reported yesterday at The Financial Times Online that, “Barclays has set up a new venture capital-style unit with the aim of adding billions of pounds to its annual revenues by 2025, in an effort to find new areas of growth after years of restructuring.

Barclays UK Ventures will be led by Ben Davey, formerly the bank’s head of strategy. Mr Davey said he wants the unit to develop at least one ‘truly transformational new business line’ that will add a ‘material contribution’ to the bank’s revenues over the next five to seven years.

“He pointed to areas such as artificial intelligence, distributed ledgers and smart contracts as examples of the technology areas BUKV is likely to explore, but added that the business has a ‘relatively unfettered mandate‘ to consider different opportunities.”

The FT article noted that, “Established companies have taken an increasingly important role in technology investment in recent years, with corporate-led investments continuing to grow even as volumes in the wider venture capital sector fall. Corporate investors accounted for 18 per cent of global venture capital deals in 2017, up from 8 per cent in 2011, according to data from PitchBook and Global Corporate Venturing, which monitor the sector.”

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