Tuesday, September 17, 2019
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Impact Focus – Companies and founders disrupting the global financial technology market

Jack Ma’s last day as Alibaba’s top executive was on Tuesday, but he’s hardly going quietly into the night. Nor is Ma relinquishing control of the company he started 20 years ago in an apartment and built...
British digital bank Revolut withdrew its application for an e-banking license in Luxembourg, after a member of the country’s parliament questioned whether the company was complying with fintech regulations.   The Telegraph reported that Laurent...
Kenyan shopkeepers, Chinese farmers and U.S. migrant workers are all vital parts of the global economy. The formal economy, though, has mostly left them behind. According to the most recent edition of the World...
The U.S. government’s monopoly on student loans may be one reason why startups innovating in the space haven’t seen a higher level of investment. An estimated 45 million Americans hold educational debt, and many...
Plenty of companies say they want to save the planet. It makes for good headlines and warm, fuzzy feelings, but what about investing actual money to back claims of environmental and social responsibility?  Enter...
Seven years ago, a Googler and a software platform founder started a company called ThoughtSpot, aiming to disrupt the way companies use data. Since then, it’s grown to about 500 people, increasing by 60% since last year.
UBS raised $225 million from private clients for KKR’s Global Impact fund, the latest example of major financial institutions responding to demand for more social impact investing opportunities. The UBS fundraising is part of...
Move over Libra: Messenger app Telegram may be set to steal Facebook’s thunder with the debut of its own long-awaited cryptocurrency by the end of October. The launch of the coin, dubbed GRAM, shows...
In a sure sign that cryptocurrency is close to becoming mainstream, governments around the world are stepping up efforts to make sure they get their cut of the action.The tax enforcement agencies of the U.S., U.K., Canada,...
Microloan nonprofit Kiva has teamed with the government of Sierra Leone to help bring financial services to the 80% of the country’s residents who don’t have access to traditional banks.Using Kiva’s biometric blockchain technology, an individual’s thumbprint...
Calvert Impact Capital veered off the beaten path with its latest impact investment -- buying a stake in a $175 million pool of loans made to fund microfinance borrowers. Calvert, part of Eaton Vance...
When JPMorgan Chase & Co. said this week it was shutting its Chase Pay app, it was a sign of struggles -- and opportunities -- for banks and tech firms as Americans lag the world in paying...
Microlender Tala, whose phone app-based system has enabled $1 billion in small loans around the world, raised $110 million from a group of venture capital firms that will help it expand in India, hire workers in its...
This content is brought to you in partnership with Savvy Investor Two significant shifts are reshaping the private funds and investment industry today. Millennials and Generation Z consumers, their values and how these values...
While the U.S. Treasury Department expressed concern that terrorist financiers could misuse digital currencies, including Libra and Bitcoin, anti-discrimination advocates say that crypto currencies are not funding terrorist activities, but rather have been adopted to bypass discriminatory...
Russians are increasingly using mobile wallets to pay for groceries and bills as cashless technologies disrupt the financial services industry, extending their reach across the world’s largest country. The number of purchases made with smartphones has jumped...
A UBS exchange-traded fund focused on ESG investing became the first in Europe to exceed €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in assets, showing that socially responsible financial strategies are growing in popularity.The UBS ETF (LU) MSCI World Socially...
While millennials may be the generation most associated with social impact investing, other groups are showing strong interest, according to a new study from Allianz Life Insurance. Sure, it’s still millennials who are participating...
The bank that once took deposits from Albert Einstein is keeping its offerings fresh by investing in a two-year old firm pitching social impact investments to millennials. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services, whose lineage stretches...
A trove of fingerprints, passwords and facial recognition data, supposedly protected, were found exposed and accessible online because the database of a company that provides secure access to warehouses and offices was flawed. The...
With an eye toward boosting security and efficiency, as well as toward managing an aging population, U.K. officials are considering Blockchain technology for social security and welfare payments.  They also want to make sure...
Institutional investors are likely to rate white-led investment teams higher than those led by black fund managers that were equal in performance, leading to racial disparities in how trillions of dollars are invested, according to research by...
Robinhood, a U.S.-based owner of a stock-trading app, is heading across the Atlantic as it’s been granted a license to operate by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority. The app, available in the states since...
KKR & Co.’s fundraising for its first Global Impact Fund surpassed its goal, as bets on investments intended to provide a social and environmental benefit surge. KKR is still collecting commitments after surpassing its...
Walmart filed a patent for a cryptocurrency, saying a Blockchain-based currency would help the retail giant’s low-income customers who don’t have access to credit cards. “Low-income households” may find regular banking expensive and see the currency as...
Fitch Ratings released a tool showing the relevance of environment, social and governance factors to credit ratings in different industries, as investor demand grows for ways to measure ESG criteria from wastewater management to employee well-being.
Israel’s first new bank in 47 years will be making interest-free and low-interest loans, continuing the social impact tradition of its successor organization. Non-profit lender Ogen Bank, which is in the late stages of...
BlackRock’s fossil fuel investments cost its investors $90 billion in lost value and missed opportunities over the last decade, according to a report that gives support to social impact and sustainable-energy strategies. The world’s...
The announcement that British asset manager Schroders would acquire a majority stake in the impact investing firm BlueOrchard Finance is the latest evidence that legacy asset managers are increasingly looking to beef up their sustainability bona fides,...
Law enforcement may have found the perpetrator quickly.  But the theft of personal data concerning 106 million Capital One customers renewed deep concerns about the big banks’’ ability to protect information and the persistence...
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