Northwestern Mutual forms $150 million venture capital fund

Extends Future Ventures initiative

Souheil Badran of Northwestern Mutual spoke with Matt Cordio of 5 Lakes Forum and Skills Pipeline.

Last updated on June 24th, 2019 at 03:30 pm

Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. today announced it has formed a $150 million venture capital fund as an extension to its Future Ventures initiative.

The insurance company formed Future Ventures with a $50 million fund in 2017. It has so far made 14 startup investments totaling $40 million from that fund. The fund is national in scope, and has publicly invested in San Francisco mobile banking startup ChimeLearnVest, a New York-based personal finance software firm that Northwestern Mutual Capital invested in, and Northwestern Mutual Life ultimately acquired in 2015; Washington, D.C.-based intelligent savings account provider Rize Advisors LLC; New York-based financial services innovation investment and advisory firm Nyca Partners; New York-based online financial advisor Betterment LLC; San Francisco-based health care transparency provider Amino; and Austin, Texas-based remote customer onboarding and identity verification provider LiveOak Technologies.

Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures Fund II will also be targeted to investments in financial technology startups. Investments will continue to range between $500,000 and $5 million and be targeted to Series A and Series B rounds, the company said.

Future Ventures’ strategic investing areas are: “Building for consumers’ changing financial preferences; reimagining the client experience; the digital health revolution; and transformational analytics and technologies.”

Northwestern Mutual has been shifting its focus to technology over the past several years, and investing in startups to identify new technologies and talent. It also in 2017 created a $5 million Milwaukee-specific venture fund, Cream City Venture Capital, to invest in startups in southeastern Wisconsin.

“We’re committed to transforming the client experience to drive change within the financial services industry,” said Souheil Badran, executive vice president and chief innovation officer at Northwestern Mutual. “This additional capital will allow us to build on the success of Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures and invest in new technologies that have the ability to accelerate growth and advance innovation so we can create what’s next for our clients, financial representatives and employees.”

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.