CBA teams up with Square Peg and Zetta Venture Partners to expand digital services offering

Maria Nikolova

The new partnerships coincide with the announcement of X15 Ventures’ fourth new venture, Backr.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA) today announced the appointment of two strategic partners to help deliver new digital banking services to the Group’s retail and business customers. CBA has committed US$10 million to the most recent funds for both Square Peg and Zetta Venture Partners to support the sourcing, scaling and financing of local fintechs, as well as the development of emerging artificial intelligence businesses in Australia.

CBA’s X15 has also announced its fourth new venture, Backr, which offers a digital, task-based approach to starting a small business, guiding business owners through the process step-by-step, from registering their business name and ABN, to creating a business plan and using simple tools to get them trading quickly and with ease.

Commonwealth Bank CEO, Matt Comyn said: “Through Backr, we hope to help thousands of new digitally enabled small businesses get off the ground. This is now more important than ever given the need to drive the economic recovery. To support this initiative, CBA will deposit $500 into the account of any eligible business launched through Backr, until the end of 2020.

“We’re also delighted to welcome Square Peg and Zetta as strategic partners and look forward to working with them to bring new solutions to our customers, harnessing the latest technologies, artificial intelligence, and machine learning models.”

Square Peg is one of Australia’s leading venture capital funds, having backed a range of successful Australian ventures. They will partner with X15 on the sourcing, scaling and financing of Australian fintechs. Zetta Venture Partners is a leading American-based venture capital fund that invests purely in artificial intelligence companies.

CBA has also provided an update on its partnership with Klarna, one of the world’s biggest digital payments providers. Since its launch in January 2020, the Klarna App has been downloaded by more than 270,000 Australians and more than 80 merchants are now live on the platform. Global revenue for Klarna has grown to $750 million for the first half of 2020, and Klarna has seen volume growth of up to 50 per cent year on year during the coronavirus period.

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