mBank will set up the first fund in Central and Eastern Europe that will specialise in developing and commercialising new technologies. The Polish bank wants to become one of the leaders shaping the financial sector’s digital transformation. The investment will be of benefit to mBank’s customers who will be the first to get access to the new solutions.
mBank will invest EUR 50 million (or ca. PLN 200 million) in new technologies as part of the mAccelerator (mAkcelerator) project. The bank’s management board decided to set up a fund that will invest in technology start-ups. It will be the first venture of this kind in Central and Eastern Europe.
The aim of the project is to create state-of-the-art technological solutions helping financial institutions around the globe to meet the challenges of the fintech era, said mBank’s CEO Cezary Stypułkowski.
The fund will invest in start-ups which later should become partners for financial institutions from around the world. During the initial phase of the investment the innovators will work with mBank, which serves over 5 million customers in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. mBank will be their first partner and will help them reach critical mass. With the fund’s financial support and know-how, the companies will then offer their solutions to customers from around the world.
No one in the CEE region has created a “fintech laboratory” similar in terms of investment value and the number of potential users and opportunities it creates.
The fund will be headed by experienced managers - Jarosław Mastalerz, currently one of the vice-presidents of mBank’s management board and the bank’s COO, and Wojciech Chmielewski, the director of mBank’s strategy department. They will leave mBank and take the helm of the new project.
Jarosław Mastalerz is a vice-president of mBank’s management board in charge of IT and new technologies. He previously headed the bank’s retail banking division. He was the founder and CEO of BRE Ubezpieczenia, which was Poland’s first insurance house to sell insurance on the Internet.
Wojciech Chmielewski is the director of mBank’s strategy, foreign investment and investor relations department. He worked in JP Morgan’s investment banking division in London and in the Paris office of Pechel, a private equity fund.
All investments of the fund will be approved by a group of experienced managers from mBank - its CEO Cezary Stypułkowski, CFO Christoph Heins, Head of Retail Banking Cezary Kocik and Head of Corporate and Investment Banking Przemysław Gdański.
The project is a great opportunity for mBank both in financial terms and from the point of view of our market position. It will help us strengthen our position as a company that is well-prepared for the challenges of the digital economy and is able to respond to the expectations of increasingly mobile customers, which is one of the key initiatives defined in our “Mobile Bank” strategy for the period from 2016 to 2020, said Cezary Stypułkowski.