NEW YORK — Nasdaq (Stock:NDAQ), which operates the Nasdaq stock exchange, is launching its own venture investment fund. Nasdaq Ventures will be dedicated to investing in and partnering with unique financial technology (fintech) companies worldwide. The program’s main objective is to identify and collaborate on new technologies and groundbreaking services and solutions which align with Nasdaq’s clients’ needs and the company’s long-term objectives in the global capital markets.
“With the launch of our new venture investment program, we are reinforcing our focus on driving growth and innovation by evaluating, distributing, licensing and integrating disruptive technologies for the long-term benefit of our global clients,” said Adena Friedman, President and CEO, Nasdaq. “Investing in pioneering fintech firms, who are developing unique technologies, continues our history of being a platform and partner of choice for the most innovative companies in the world. In addition, through this program we plan to accelerate the pace of innovation to ensure our clients continue to benefit from the technologies that are reshaping the capital markets.”
As part of Nasdaq’s Corporate Strategy function, Nasdaq Ventures will be led by Gary Offner who will report to Jean-Jacques Louis, Head of Corporate Strategy. Offner has more than 20 years of continuous private equity, venture capital and strategic direct investment experience with an emphasis on minority growth capital investments in technology companies, and is a long-time veteran of Morgan Stanley.
The minority stake investments made by Nasdaq Ventures are expected to range from less than $1 million to approximately $10 million and will include seed to late-stage venture rounds. Every potential investment will receive a rigorous review with an established internal committee to ensure that each partnership is aligned with Nasdaq’s overall financial and strategic goals, as well as an existing business line or business strategy in order to guarantee that every investment furthers the company’s competitive and strategic position in the chosen businesses. Areas of initial focus will include: digital transfer/blockchain; machine learning and artificial intelligence; emerging and frontier marketplaces; and next generation data, analytics and content aggregation. The venture investing program will not have any material implications on Nasdaq’s capital allocation strategy.
Nasdaq’s investment program began unofficially in late-2015 and has since been partnered strategically with blockchain infrastructure provider Chain.com, machine intelligence company Digital Reasoning and real-time risk analytics firm Hanweck.