InnoCells, Banco Sabadell’s hub of digital ventures, has invested 7.5 million euros in the venture capital fund Cardumen Capital.

Created in 2017 and regulated by the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), the venture capital fund offers unique access to cutting edge technology on an international scale via the Israeli market.

Cardumen Capital has a management team with extensive knowledge and experience in corporate venture capital: Gonzalo Martínez de Azagra (former Head of Samsung Ventures Israel), Igor de la Sota (former Managing Director at Hilco Capital Iberia) and Roy Gottlieb (former Investment Manager at Samsung Ventures Israel).

Igor de la Sota and Gonzalo Martínez de Azagra, co-founders of Cardumen Capital, highlight: “It is a privilege to have InnoCells as investors in our technological venture capital fund. Israel is a strategically critical geography due to its leadership in basic areas of digital transformation, where our team has been the most active corporate investor over the last few years”.

Julio Martínez, Executive Director of InnoCells, explains: "InnoCells entry into Cardumen Capital represents a significant boost to us becoming one step closer to the dynamism of Israeli technology innovation, a benchmark ecosystem on an international scale." Adding that: “Without doubt, the experience and track record of the Cardumen Capital team will reaffirm Banco Sabadell’s commitment to digital transformation to offer the best user experience”.

This new investment represents InnoCells entry is Israel, as well as the expansion of its area of action in a benchmark technology, talent and innovation hub.

Through this investment, Banco Sabadell is now a step closer to the early identification of new technology and business trends which are applicable to the financial environment, such as artificial intelligence or cybersecurity, amongst others. The objective is to support the entity’s digital transformation, as well as to improve user experience and value proposals for customers.

Israel, international hub of technology, talent and innovation

Israel is one of the countries with the highest investment in research, development and innovation, specifically 4.2% of its GDP. Its volume of investment continues to grow, due to greater maturity of initiatives, investors and talent. With more than 5,000 startups, Israel is recognised as one of the international leaders of innovation in the world, according to the World Economic Forum.

Israel has developed a successful technology ecosystem and it has reached a high level of specialisation in terms of new technologies −such as artificial intelligence, big data, cybersecurity and biotechnology− and it has established itself as an international reference hub.

InnoCells carries out digital and technological strategic investments which contribute new technology, talent and knowledge to Banco Sabadell. In particular, InnoCells carries out direct retail investments as well as acquisitions, for the purpose of moving closer to new digital markets, as well as core capacities, with a faster time-to-market.

In 2017, InnoCells co-led an investment for the amount of 1.5 million pounds (1.6 million euros) of seed capital in UK platform Bud. In February, the hub led an investment round in seed capital in the Spanish voice biometrics startup Biometric Vox.

In June, InnoCells acquired Instant Credit a Spanish startup which offers instant consumer lending in physical as well as digital sales points (e-commerce).

About Banco Sabadell, startups and innovation

Over the last few years, Banco Sabadell has implemented a global support strategy for startups and innovation. The entity has more than 2,700 start-up customers and, in the last five years, it has granted more than €150 million in investment and financing, having invested in more than 50 startups. In 2013, BStartup was created as well as the investment vehicle BStartup10, for start-ups in their initial stages. In 2015, Sabadell Venture Capital was created for capital investments and venture debt of up to 2 million euros in startups in their seed and A series stages. In 2017, InnoCells was created, the hub of digital ventures and corporate venture arm of Banco Sabadell.

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