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Large group seeks start-up for an enriching relationship...and will go from there !

Over the past few years, large companies have been using various strategies to forge closer links with start-ups. Banks and insurances are no exception to this rule and are courting FinTech start-ups which are reinventing the customer experience and uses.

Large group seeks start-up for an enriching relationship...and will go from there !

As proof of the growing influence of start-ups, 52% of the 500 largest groups in the world worked with them in 2015. France ranks even higher than Germany and the United States in terms of collaboration, with 92% of its largest groups working with start-ups.

From intimately linked to remote or financial... any type of relationship is possible

In the banking and insurance sector, major groups must now coexist with start-ups which, by developing innovative banking and financial services, are making an impact on all the main segments of the financial services market: payment methods, credit, asset and savings management, factoring, etc.

Their development is forcing banks and “traditional” insurers to adapt and fundamentally rethink their banking and insurance models, in addition to their organisational and operating systems.

Far from admitting defeat, these major groups have decided to enter the fray by forging links with start-ups. The types of relationships established vary according to the strategies and targets set by the groups and the resources they decide to vote to them.

•Incubators, accelerators, and other ecosystems

This approach consists of creating a structure that is financially and technologically adapted to hosting and/or supporting the development of several FinTech companies (e.g. Le Village by CA).
 
•Financing

This involves investing in a start-up – either directly or via venture capital funds – by holding a minority stake, in order to participate in strategic decisions and benefit from their innovative ideas, even if this means becoming a majority shareholder at a later date (e.g. Crédit Mutuel Arkéa’s in Prêt d’Union, Crédit Agricole and Crédit Mutuel Arkéa in Linxo).
 
•Strategic and/or commercial partnerships

The group provides services and collaborates with a start-up in order to modernise or transform its activities through contact with this more agile structure (e.g. Crédit Agricole Assurances with the Izroom, Coxibiz and Miimosa start-ups, and Société Générale with Player).
 
•Acquisitions

The group acquires a start-up to master a technology that it does not have and/or secure its competitive environment in a given business sector (e.g. Crédit Mutuel Arkéa’s acquisition of the online money transfer system Leetchi).
 
•Intrapreneurship

This strategy consists of the group creating its own internal start-up in order to raise its employees’ awareness of digital culture and develop new ideas, projects or processes (e.g. Axa’s creation of Kamet, a technology innovation incubator to provide services for its policyholders).
 
•Special events

Major groups also rely on start-ups for the organisation of awareness-raising events such as hackathons and conferences, where they act as catalysts for creativity.

While start-ups often reproach major groups for the complexity of their organisational structures, the asymmetry of the relationship and their lack of boldness, 95% of them consider this collaboration to be beneficial or even essential to them in terms of access to sources of financing, a structured distribution network and leading suppliers, or quite simply to technical and logistical support. Between major groups and start-ups, therefore, the courtship has only just begun...

Sources: Fabernovel Study (June 2014) - 500 Startups Fund Study (February 2016) – Les Echos (July 2015 and June 2016) - French Web (February 2016) - Petit Web (January 2016) - Crédit Agricole / Startista survey
 

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