NAB to pour $50m into innovation fund

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NAB to pour $50m into innovation fund

Follows Westpac to tap new markets.

National Australia Bank will allocate $50 million over three years into a new ventures fund that will seek to tap into innovative ideas and capabilities around the world.

NAB today said its new Ventures fund - part of its NAB Labs innovation function - would make investments in and enter into partnerships with "innovative" companies both in Australian and overseas.

“It’s critical that we are able to act quickly and be nimble in bringing digital innovation to market,” NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn said in a statement.

He said he recognised that the best innovations wouldn't necessarily come from inside NAB.

The fund will deliver "accelerated access" to new technologies and intellectual property that could be used in NAB's customer-facing systems, and will "enhance NAB's insight" into emerging businesses and technology.

NAB said key areas of focus for NAB Ventures were mobile platforms, payments and data and analytics.

Rival bank Westpac launched its own $50 million innovation venture fund Reinventure mid last year.

Its first investment was in peer-to-peer lender SocietyOne, and it has since invested in bitcoin player Coinbase, online marketplace payments platform PromisePay, big data firm Zetaris and social media platform Nabo.


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