Desjardins’ new FinTech portfolio: innovation for the benefit of communities

Desjardins’ new FinTech portfolio: innovation for the benefit of communities


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Business finance
Published on 12 June 2019
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Desjardins’ new FinTech portfolio: innovation for the benefit of communities

Recently, Desjardins Group President Guy Cormier announced the launch of the Desjardins FinTech Fund. The mission: invest in businesses that innovate when it comes to operational, technological, and economical models. Backed by $45 million in capital, this new tool for strategic investment comes with a whole slew of benefits for members, clients, entrepreneurs, as well as communities.

“It’s a priority for us,” explains Thomas Gagné, Corporate Development Director for FinTech at Desjardins. Compared to more traditional funds, this one is geared towards strategic investments that hasten the digital transformation within Desjardins Group, all while implementing the finest financial tech on the planet.

Better yet, the initiative is being managed by Desjardins Capital, the group’s private investment arm. “With over 45 years of proven investment expertise, the collaboration with Desjardins Capital has proven to be a real asset, empowering us to transact in a way that makes a real impact on the FinTech ecosystem.”



Leveraging innovative investment  

Don’t forget: this portfolio is a driver for recognizing investment opportunities and implementing new business models that are designed to simplify specific operations, boost productivity, and support the growth of many organizations.

Thomas Gagné cites recent involvement with Quebec-based X-Telia, which specializes in IoT (Internet of Things). Companies like La Coop fédérée could profit from this investment to implement their modernization plan. Example: they could use LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) technology to allow agricultural producers to monitor changes in silo grain levels in real time, on their mobile devices. When necessary, said producers could re-provision their silos online. “When you optimize inventory management while minimizing health and safety hazards, the entire business ecosystem reaps the rewards,” highlights Gagné.

Such an approach can apply to multiple industries, such as insurance, agrifoods, and manufacturing. “It’s win-win; the expertise that is developed as a result of our investments can in turn support the growth of innovative companies, as well as the development of custom solutions for our members and our clients,” explains Gagné. According to the latter, you need only look to the examples of AssureTech, RegTech, and WealthTech—their particular missions and challenges are now enabling Desjardins to gain further mastery in cutting-edge industries.

“Desjardins is active across many different sectors, so we can, for instance, optimize our web operations to better prevent and detect fraud, or develop custom tech to learn more about client and member needs,” adds Gagné.

Thomas Gagné reminds us that implementing this strategic investment tool is the responsibility of Desjardins Vice-President Martin Brunelle’s transformation team. Click here for more details about the Desjardins FinTech portfolio. 

This new investment portfolio—a Desjardins exclusive—will also bring in-house departments closer together. “We’ve got powerful synergy of expertise here, and that involves several entities under the Group Desjardins banner,” notes Gagné. That’s why this collaboration is seen as an innovation accelerator—with a multiplier effect of sorts. “With time, the organization as a whole, our members, and communities will be the true beneficiaries of this strategic initiative.”