RBC merges technology banking, ventures groups under RBCx name


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Royal Bank of Canada is merging its RBC Ventures partnership group with its RBCx technology banking and innovation arm in a bid to capture more business from entrepreneurs at all stages of their startups’ growth.

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Sid Paquette, who has led both RBCx and Ventures since April, will head the combined business, the Toronto-based bank said in a statement Wednesday. The new RBCx will remain part of Royal Bank’s personal and commercial banking business, headed by Neil McLaughlin.

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The merger creates a single entity that can provide startups with everything from banking services and assistance from a group of specialists and technologists who can help them scale their businesses to access to capital including venture investments and even outright acquisitions. RBCx has about 4,000 technology clients across Canada, and RBC Ventures has supported startups including the Dr.Bill medical-billing software, the Ownr business-launching service and the Mydoh money-management app for kids.

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“This is really the first time that these sorts of skills have been integrated into one practice,” Paquette said in an interview.

RBCx, through partnerships and investments, provides Royal Bank with new technologies that can assist its other businesses, and helps it reach broader pools of customers to whom it can cross-sell other products, the bank has said.

Canada’s tech industry is likely to continue to grow because of the country’s educational institutions and large base of talent, Paquette said. Royal Bank isn’t phased by the drop in valuations many tech companies have experienced in recent months and is in the business for the long term, he said.

“Most of us in the ecosystem, we’ve seen the writing on the wall for a very, very long time,” Paquette said. “We’ve had inflated valuations, and we’re kind of getting a reset on valuations. It doesn’t mean that there’s not really good tech companies out there.”



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