Cross River Bank Launches Venture Capital Business

New Jersey-based Cross River Bank has launched a venture capital business as it seeks to further develop its wide-ranging work with fintechs.

Cross River Digital Ventures will invest in companies in the lending, payments, investment, and fintech sectors, the company announced this week.

“Cross River already powers some of the largest companies in fintech and this new endeavor will help us identify and make additional strategic investments,” said Gilles Gade, founder, CEO and chairman of Cross River. “Similar to Cross River, we are looking for special companies that are trying to change the world through innovation.”

Cross River Bank said it would seek investment in companies that added strategic value to the company and the wider technology industry.

“By providing strategic support to early-stage companies we can build on the Cross River momentum to fuel and strengthen the next wave of fintech innovation,” said Hillel Olivestone, head of corporate development at Cross River.

In 2020, Cross River established partnerships with more than 30 fintechs across the US to facilitate Paycheck Protection Program loans. The bank processed more than 105,000 loans – more than almost every other lender involved in the program – worth $4.7 billion in total, during the pandemic.

Partner firms included BlueVine, Divvy, Gusto, Intuit, Kabbage, and Veem, among others.

Among Cross River’s existing partnerships is Innovative Assessments, a start-up that uses psychometrics to personalize financial services and drive inclusion, two trends to emerge in the fintech space in recent months.

Banks are quickly realising the potential in the fintech market, establishing partnerships and making investments in an effort to gain an edge over rivals.

Last month, Customers Bank announced a partnership with blockchain company Tassat to implement a blockchain-based, business-to-business payments network for its corporate clients.

Meanwhile, Community 1st Credit Union adopted an artificial intelligence-based platform to power its credit decisioning and underwriting capabilities. The technology is provided by Scienaptic, a specialist in underwriting technologies.

In April, New York-based Sterling National Bank entered into a partnership with cloud-based digital banking platform BrightFi. The bank will provide banking solutions to support the BrightFi platform, following similar strategic partnerships it has recently signed with Google Pay and Rho Technologies.