Fintech entrepreneur Ryan Gilbert is now a member of the venture capital community. Gilbert recently joined Propel Venture Partners, a venture capital company that provides funding during the seed stage. BBVA, one of the leading banks in Spain, gave Propel Ventures a $250 million with the purpose of investing in fintech startups. BBVA is terminating their venture fund, BBVA Ventures, and will allocate its $100 million, in addition to another $150 million, to start the venture. BBVA will be a limited partner in Propel, and is bringing along its impressive venture portfolio of firms which includes Personal Capital, Taulia and Prosper Marketplace.
In an interview with the San Francisco Business Times, Gilbert said that he definitely could see the possibility for change in financial services brought on by innovative technology sector. According to him, BBVA has a successful portfolio of companies because the bank doesn’t practice the spray and pray method,where a large number of startups are funded while investors pray for some to become major players in the market. Gilbert is the Executive Chairman of Better Finance, one of San Francisco’s fastest developing fintech firms. He previously served as the CEO of the company and according to Gilbert, the company is growing very quickly. Its tactical and strategic activities associated with SmartBiz are all run by the General Manager, Evan Singer.
Gilbert also started PropertyBridge, a platform that deals with electronic rent payments, later on bought by Moneygram. Gilbert added that he will carry on being a board member of River City Bank, since it gives him a clear vantage point on what bankers are up against.
Propel is now recruiting employees for its London branch, which has the mission of seizing opportunities in Europe’s fintech industry. According to the General Manager of New Digital Business and Chief Development Officer of BBVA, Teppo Paavola, the company believes that the combination of Propel’s independence, premium capital and London-based office will allow them to fund leading fintech startups, and further establish BBVA’s goal to transform financial services by utilizing technology that, in turn, will benefit the client first and foremost.
Aside from Gilbert, Tom Whiteaker and Jay Reinemann will serve as Propel’s managing partners. They both formerly handled BBVA Ventures.