UBS unveils global fintech challenge

Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. has launched a new venture investment program focused on backing the development of new technologies in the financial technology (fintech) space.

The new program, Nasdaq Ventures, will target a wide range of areas, including blockchain, machine learning and artificial intelligence, analytics and content aggregation, as well as other fields.

Nasdaq Ventures will seek to acquire a minority stake, ranging from to US$1 million to US$10 million, in seed to late-stage venture companies involved in fintech.

“Through this program we plan to accelerate the pace of innovation to ensure our clients continue to benefit from the technologies that are reshaping the capital markets,” says Adena Friedman, president and CEO of Nasdaq, in a statement.

Gary Offner, a former managing director at Morgan Stanley, has been tapped to lead this unit and will report to Jean-Jacques Louis, the firm’s head of corporate strategy.

As part of the program’s operation, an internal committee will be tasked with assessing the value of each potential partnership to evaluate if it aligns with Nasdaq’s overall mandate.

Since late 2015, Nasdaq has been testing the waters, partnering with firms such as, a blockchain-infrastructure provider; Digital Reasoning, a machine-intelligence company; and Hanweck, a real-time risk analytics firm.

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