Deutsche Bank has signed a cooperation agreement with startup accelerator Axel Springer Plug and Play to develop and fund technology startups from sectors such as banking and insurance.

Deutsche Bank will be an exclusive partner of Axel Springer Plug and Play, which is a joint venture between media firm Axel Springer and California-based Plug and Play Tech Center.

As part of the agreement, the German banking group will help the accelerator select technology startups and offer them support, workshops, and funding.

Selected startups will gain access to the bank’s Innovation Labs and its Digital Factory in Frankfurt.

In return, the lender will secure a seat on the selection committee and will have voting rights, while the accelerator will retain a majority in the decision-making body.

Deutsche Bank private, wealth & commercial clients corporate division chief digital officer Markus Pertlwieser said: “With Axel Springer Plug and Play, we have the right partner for finding the best digital start-ups throughout Europe.

“For us, this is a strategic step towards accelerating the digital transformation of our core business and investing in new digital business models.”

Axel Springer Plug and Play has till date invested in 86 digital companies, and as part of a 100-day programme has offered them €25,000 in seed financing and access to experts, and the use of offices at a co-working space.

Axel Springer Plug and Play managing director Jorg Rheinboldt said: “Our accelerator programme has demonstrated that we are capable of spotting successful start-up teams and business models early in the game and supporting them in their growth, even in these sectors. Having Deutsche Bank as a partner gives us additional expertise and the means to build on this basis in a targeted manner.”