Westpac launches Venture Capital Fund.

Westpac launches venture capital fund.

Westpac has launched Reinventure, a $50 million fund seeking early stage technology start-ups to back.

As reported by StartupSmart on Monday, Westpac is backing up to 12 companies to invest in the coming years. Startup Smart reports while the mandate is broad and focused on disruptive technologies, Westpac are particularly seeking data aggregation and payment system start-ups.

A spokesperson for Westpac told StartupSmart the fund would operate as a distinct entity from the bank.

“We’ve helped set it up but from a day to day basis (fund founders) Simon and Danny are the ones who are driving it,” the spokesperson says.

“Our motivation is we want to be closer to the forefront of technological advances as the world is moving pretty fast. We want to explore new growth areas and local entrepreneurs.”

The fund’s founders are entrepreneur and in-house venture capital lead at APN News & Media Danny Gilligan, and Simon Cant, principal at innovation consultants Cant Associates.

Tony Boyd from AFR also reported that one area of focus will be companies that offer disruptive technologies that might improve the traditional banking customer experience. Other areas will be data aggregation and payment systems. It’s possible companies that with the unit’s backing will gain access to its business units, intellectual property and distribution network.

Westpac’s move into venture capital follows similar moves by Telstra and Optus.

Banks overseas have launched venture capital arms, including Barclays in the United Kingdom and Citi in the United States.