Illuminate Financial secures JPMorgan, Barclays backing for new fund

LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) - Illuminate Financial Management, a London-based venture capital firm that invests in financial technology startups, said on Wednesday that it had closed fundraising for a $100 million fund with backing from JPMorgan Chase & Co and Barclays.

The fund, Illuminate’s second, was anchored by Deutsche Börse AG and IHS Markit, with other investors including Draper Esprit and family offices, the venture capital firm said.

Illuminate was founded in 2014 by veteran finance executive Mark Beeston, with the aim of backing software companies that provide services that help big banks and other finance industry companies to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

The new fund highlights how big finance companies are continuing to back and partner with tech-savvy startups as they seek to speed up adoption of digital services and revamp legacy systems.

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated their use of technologies such as cloud and AI, as more of customers have needed to access their services remotely, and employees have been working from home.

“Post Covid changes in working practices and the tools that enable them are also top of mind making the future of work also a focus,” said Beeston, who was formerly CEO of post-trade risk and information at ICAP. He said services for institutional investors entering the cryptocurrency market was one area where they would also be looking to deploy more capital.

Illuminate’s portfolio includes low code development startup Genesis and cloud-based collateral management technology provider CloudMargin. It has also invested in Curv, a digital asset security company based in Tel Aviv which PayPal Holdings Inc agreed to acquire earlier this month. (Reporting by Anna Irrera. Editing by Jane Merriman)