TX Group, Switzerland’s largest media group, has accelerated its push into consumer fintech this year, adding to its portfolio local startups Lend, a crowdlending platform, and Selma Finance, a regulated digital advisor.
TX Group’s corporate venture capital (CVC) fund, has three investment areas but the fund has been the most active in the business to consumer (B2C) fintech sector so far.
Most recently, the fund led the CHF 5.5 million Series B financing round of Lend, a crowdlending platform serving both private individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Lend has reportedly already received more than CHF 1.3 billion in loan applications.
It also led the Series A funding round of Selma Finance, a Swiss-Finnish startup operating a regulated digital financial advisory platform that counts more than 3,200 paying users in Switzerland.
These startups join TX Group’s rapidly growing fintech portfolio that includes:
- Lykke, a startup building a global marketplace based on blockchain;
- MoneyPark, a financial advisory provider offering financial and pension planning, investment advisory, mortgage consulting services, and more;
- Monito, a comparison website for international money transfer services; and
- Neon, a Swiss neobank offering a free digital account service, an accompanying debit card, personal financial tools.
TX Group’s CVC fund targets early-stage startups operating in the areas of consumer fintech, digital entertainment and productivity.
Speaking with Fintech News Switzerland, Samuel Huegli, head of technology and ventures and member of the group management at TX Group, said that TX Ventures is looking to invest anywhere between CHF 500,000 and CHF 5 million into startups that will help the group expand beyond its current core business and reach its digital ambitions.
According to the fund’s newly launched website, TX Ventures looks for post-revenue companies from Series A onwards that have “a strong team, a convincing business model, and a focus on the Swiss market.”
It says its long-term vision is to build multiple ecosystems that would allow for cross-collaboration and synergies between its portfolio companies. Portfolio companies also get to benefit from TX Group’s know-how and expertise in marketing, product, and technology, and are able to access various shared services specialised in supporting startups.
In B2C fintech, the CVC fund says it is interested in startups that are in direct competition with traditional financial services providers with relevant segments including challenger banking, alternative financing, and personal finance management.
In digital entertainment, TX Ventures targets startups centered around media streaming technology and the provision of amusement oriented content digitally, with a particular focus on TV-as-a-service solutions including OTT and IPTV services. Portfolio companies include TV streaming provider Zattoo and Picstars, an influencer marketing platform and sponsorship marketplace.
The fund also seeks solutions in productivity that optimises the collaboration of individuals or businesses. TX Ventures’ productivity investment strategy is centered around its portfolio company Doodle, an online appointment planner, and Helpling, an online booking and payment platform that connects customers with pre-vetted local cleaners.
TX Group’s CVC moves come as it embarked into a “digital transformation” push, ramping up hiring for C-level positions. In September, TX Group welcomed a new chief data officer which was followed in December by the appointment of its new chief digital officer. Both took on newly created positions.
TX Group joined Swiss fintech incubator and accelerator F10 as a new member in May 2019. Huegli said at the time that the group’s involvement in F10 will provide it with “new ideas and insight into exciting technologies, future trends and disruptive business models in the area of fintech. In addition, we also benefit from a specific international startup screening, because we intend to further expand our existing fintech portfolio.”
TX Group says its publishing brands, digital platforms and other assets reach over 80% of the population in Switzerland and counts more than 30 million users globally.