Aviva has pumped a fresh £150m into its venture capital arm Aviva Ventures as it looks to buck a funding slowdown and invest in firms that will add to its “customer journey”.
The FTSE 100 firm revealed it had made the fresh injection into its corporate venture capital fund and said it had kicked off with a £1.5m investment into medical technology firm Scan, which helps patients book diagnostic scans.
The injection marks Aviva’s second commitment to the fund after it was set up in 2016 with an initial £100m to invest in firm across the customer wellbeing, mobility, sustainability sectors.
Aviva’s chief innovation officer Ben Luckett, said in a statement today “innovation is central to Aviva’s strategy” and the firm’s aim was to boost outcomes for its customers by funding start-ups.
“The £150m commitment to Aviva Ventures will be used to make early stage investments in promising young digital and tech firms that also provide us with insight on emerging technology and consumer trends,” he added.
“Our investment in Scan.com is a statement of our intent – they are growing rapidly, have a unique customer proposition and are already leading the way on medical imaging services in the UK.”
The move comes amid growing pressure on UK pension and insurance giants to back more start-ups and tech businesses amid fears that a lack of funds are hampering growth.
While the new fund is made up of the company’s own funds rather than retiree cash, the move may signal intent from the firm to move more into the space.
Tech figures have been calling on ministers and pension giants to unlock capital tied up in pension funds to back the country’s growth sectors. Aviva was among a host of firms to recently meet with the Lord Mayor of London and fintech industry body Innovate Finance to discuss investing more in the country’s growth firms.