Are banks investing in startups outside fintech?

Probably nobody would be surprised if they saw a bank investing in fintech startups. After all, fintech should be their home turf. We wanted to know if banks also invest in startups outside fintech.

Using Mergeflow, we looked at more than 500 venture investment rounds from January to February 2017. We checked whether banks participated in any of these investment rounds. With two exceptions, the results were a bit sobering.

None at all

Out of twelve banks we looked at, nine did not invest in startups at all (Bank of America, Morgan StanleyDeutsche Bank, Commerzbank, UniCredit, UBS, Credit Suisse, HSBC, and Wells Fargo).

Investments in fintech only

Allianz (an insurance, not a bank; but they do invest in startups) invested in Blooom and Digital Fineprint. However, these are fintech or insurtech companies, so we did not count these investments.

Investments outside fintech

The only two banks we found here were Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan, who invested in startups e.g. in energy, home security, and automotive technology. Here are the details:


As you can see in the chart, Goldman Sachs is the biggest and the most diversified in terms of investments. In total, they participated in investments of ca. $261 Mio since the beginning of this year:

Diamanti creates the first hyper-converged infrastructure appliance for containerized applications.

Aquilon Energy Services develops software and service solutions for power and natural gas transactions.

Ring aims to reduce crime in neighborhoods and empower consumers by creating a ring of security around homes.

AppsFlyer created a mobile attribution & marketing analytics platform.

Networked Insights is a provider of a SaaS analytics platform for marketers.

Owlstone Medical has invented a technology to identify non-invasive VOC (= volatile organic compound) biomarkers in breath.

Rethink Robotics develops collaborative robots.

During the same time period, J.P. Morgan invested in ClearMotion, an MIT spinoff that wants to replace traditional physical shock absorbers with software-driven adaptive actuators.