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Banco Santander Launches €100million Initiative to Support Start-up Ecosystem in Spain

One of Spain’s largest banks, Banco Santander, is launching a €100million venture debt fund to support startups in the country. It is also introducing a full suite of products and services for innovative, scalable startups and companies that show growth potential.

Santander plans to contribute €67million to the fund – which is being created in collaboration with Inveready Asset Management. The remaining €33million will come from Inveready and other investors, making it the biggest venture debt fund in Spain.

The fund will be for capital-efficient tech and high-growth enterprises that have already been through at least one round of financing and can reach a certain profit threshold in the medium term. Financing will range from €500,000 to €5million, to fund growth flexibly and minimise share dilution.

The bank also plans to sign collaboration agreements with key agents, associations, innovation centres, incubators and investors, gaining access to 7,000 startups. Ultimately, Banco Santander aims to boost Spain’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem by significantly supporting company development.

Santander will also provide teams of expert managers at its 26 Work Cafés; collaborative spaces where customers and non-customers can work, hold meetings, attend events, and get advice from startup specialists.

Through Santander Growth, the bank is also enhancing corporate services for SMEs, offering the same global capabilities and investment banking advice as offered to large companies, with teams of local experts in all its markets and artificial intelligence tools that enable them to make key decisions for growth.

For startups that are still in the ‘seed’ and ‘early’ stages which have little collateral, but do have capital, and need financial support, the bank offers tailored credit lines to help them get off the ground, with a unique risk circuit and channel adapted to startups. The offer also includes account opening, online banking on the business customer website and app, and direct debits, remittances and transfers.

“A leader in helping companies”
Ángel Rivera, CEO of Santander España Spain
Ángel Rivera, CEO of Santander España

Ángel Rivera, CEO of Santander España, discussed the importance of the initiative: “We’re delighted with the launch of this proposition for startups. Entrepreneurs will have access to a range of solutions that help them not only get off the ground but also grow faster, which will undoubtedly have a positive impact on Spain’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

“With initiatives like this and Santander Growth, we’re reaffirming our position as a leader in helping companies, regardless of size or stage in their life cycle, with the most complete financial and non-financial proposition in the market”.

Santander will also have leading figures in central services, at its 152 enterprise banking branches and in its main entrepreneurship hubs across Spain – in Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, Valencia and Bilbao to coordinate the special startup teams.

The startups can also become members of Santander X, Banco Santander’s global social impact initiative to support entrepreneurs. Santander X offers customers and non-customer entrepreneurs free services, from the initial stages of brainstorming and market launch, to growth and international expansion – and helps over 1,000 projects in Spain each year.

Companies also can use the online platform Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub – designed to support entrepreneurs and startups at all stages of development, with free access to technological resources and expert advice on product launches.

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