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Impact Focus – Companies and founders disrupting the global financial technology market

Tech giants and government officials brought their simmering dispute over the future of cryptocurrency to the World Economic Forum, arguing over whether providing a way for the unbanked to tap into financial services is more important than...
The U.S. isn’t doing enough to combat climate change, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney charged on day two of the World Economic Forum in Davos while President Donald Trump used an impromptu news conference to blast...
The latest fintech opportunity may be in international tourism. With millions more people traveling internationally every year, heavyweight investors including Dan Loeb and Jack Ma are betting big on how much money tourists will...
Visa wants to be everywhere that millennials want to be, and is spending big bucks to land those young, future customers.  Visa’s $5.3 billion purchase of fintech firm Plaid, whose technology enables millennial-friendly payment...
The world’s largest asset manager seems to have gotten the message. BlackRock, criticized by Al Gore and other environmentalists for putting profit above all other concerns, acknowledged today that “climate risk is investment risk”...
Investors’ faith that India would keep building was on display in 2019, even as forecasts project growth to cool even further. Buoyed by a surge in infrastructure-focused deals, private equity investments gained 2.8% to...
U.S. private equity firms raised a record amount of money last year, fueled by investors’ appetite for tech. Don’t expect a repeat this year, Pitchbook says. More than $300 billion was raised in 2019...
Africa’s swift adoption of new technologies is making it one of the world’s fastest-growing tech hubs.  Venture capitalists spent a record $1.3 billion in the continent last year, more than six-fold from five years...
Digital asset management startup YieldStreet’s mission to provide retail investors the opportunity to invest in assets normally reserved for billionaires and institutional investors just got a huge boost.A partnership with Citigroup announced Wednesday will make about $2...
Venture capitalists are flush and looking for deals among U.S. startups. Nontraditional investors like hedge funds and sovereign-wealth funds are competing for equity in startup companies, and that’s helping spur the market, The Financial...
Payment company Nayax took in another $60 million from an unnamed American investor, Israel’s Calcalist said, signaling investors’ rebounding appetite for intelligent vending machines.  The funding is largest capital raised by a payment company...
Even the clouds are getting hacked. Hackers linked to Chinese intelligence may have stolen data from hundreds of companies by targeting their cloud-storage service providers, exposing the vulnerability of increasingly popular network storage systems,...
Key Takeaway: We enter the new decade full of promise for innovation and discoveries in healthcare, financial services and clean energy. Here are some of the top trends that impact investors should watch. 1....
It’s getting expensive for companies to ignore issues like climate change and sexual harassment. Environmental, social and governance controversies have removed more than half a trillion dollars of value from the largest U.S. companies...
What will J.P. Morgan’s Daniel Pinto be watching next year? ESG opportunities for clients and whether or not upstart digital banks like Revolut and Monzo grow into formidable competitors. “I don’t go to a...
Boardrooms around the world brought a mix of news on the gender front in 2019, with more women landing director seats and parity still a ways off.  Female representation on corporate boards jumped about...
U.K. banks and insurers will have to show how they plan to respond to the harmful effects of climate change under new stress tests, as the Bank of England becomes the world’s first central bank to require...
TAKEAWAY: While we may be lulled into thinking that an age of gender parity is upon us, the work is just beginning. Earlier this...
Global venture capital investments may surge next year on demand for late-stage company mega-deals, juiced by the addition of nontraditional investors like pensions, hedge funds and mutual funds, a report predicted. “2020 will mark...
Sexual discrimination in the financial industry has become less of a problem over the past decade, according to a survey of advisors, several of whom said a younger workforce is the reason for the change.
Germany’s bonds are going green. The debt-averse country will issue its first green bonds -- debt that finances environmental projects -- next year, according to a tweet from the Finance Agency on Thursday. In...
Financial advice is about to become a lot more affordable and accessible for millions of Chinese. Ant Financial Services Group, operator of financial giant Alipay, and U.S. fund manager Vanguard Group, will bring a...
“When you have a new set of technologies come onto the scene, but you still have the old way of financing things, you have to build a new set of bridges to capital,” explains Jim McDermott, the...
With record money flowing into investment funds marketing themselves as socially responsible, it was only a matter of time before regulators stepped in to check how the cash is being invested.The Securities and Exchange Commission has sent...
Al Gore took some time at the Madrid climate talks to attack BlackRock and Vanguard, saying the huge financial institutions are contributing to climate change and warned that they need to mend their ways or be blamed...
Mexican challenger bank Albo nabbed an investment from Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel, in the latest indication that the government’s push for financial inclusion places Mexico among the most attractive locations in Latin America for fintech investors.  Albo...
When every government in the world and a kaleidoscope of private stakeholders negotiated the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, they had no idea the impact investing industry would embrace and run with them as the go-to investment...
Stark contrasts in how digital currencies are viewed around the world were on display this week, as billionaire Mark Cuban said bitcoin has “no chance” of becoming a reliable currency and China pushes ahead with a plan...
Impact investing appears to be heading for a very good 2019. But don’t thank any gods of virtue -- give credit to technology companies.  Boosted by tech-heavy portfolios, nearly half -- 48% -- of...
When Jack Dorsey, CEO of social media giant Twitter and mobile payments company Square, announced he’ll be spending up to half a year in Africa on Nov. 27, a chorus of criticism erupted calling his move “ill-advised.” 
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