Japan’s SMBC invests $30m in OakNorth
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) has invested $30 million in OakNorth and deployed the vendor’s Credit Intelligence software.
SMBC is one of the world’s largest banks, with more than $2 trillion in assets. Its investment is a secondary purchase of shares in OakNorth Holdings.
OakNorth licences its artificial intelligence-based technology to banks around the world. It deploys the platform at its own UK-based lender OakNorth Bank.
SMBC has deployed OakNorth’s Credit Intelligence software to “further enhance” its commercial lending operations in the US and Asia.
OakNorth claims its software combines “a deep understanding of credit” with “dynamic data sets and auto-analysis capabilities”.
Toru Nakashima, group chief financial officer at SMBC, says the deployment is part of the bank’s ongoing optimisation and remodelling project.
“Through this investment and the upcoming business alliance with OakNorth, SMBC strives to create new added value by bringing a high level of sophistication to its corporate lending platforms.”
The bank is undergoing a major technology revamp at the core of its corporate operations, and has selected Oracle FS to power it.
OakNorth has raised more than $1 billion since its 2015 founding. Its February 2019 venture round netted it $440 million from the SoftBank Vision Fund and other investors.
“SMBC continues to transform itself to adapt to changes in society and the economy,” says Rishi Khosla, co-founder of OakNorth.
“This partnership and investment is a clear demonstration of SMBC’s commitment to define the commercial banking model of the future”.