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

In this age of advanced technology, the $10 trillion global trade finance industry hasn’t embraced innovation, instead maintaining its dependence on paper-based systems. A single cross-border, trade finance transaction typically consists of 100 pages of documents from...
Goldman Sachs is expanding its digital asset team, signaling intentions to move “further than ever before” into crypto business, as big tech companies like Facebook enter financial services.  The New York banking and advisory...
Hong Kong crypto firm Diginex Ltd. announced plans to go public today, choosing a U.S. over an Asian stock exchange and seizing on investor interest amid a rally in Bitcoin price. Diginex will list...
Social impact investors appear to be losing a battle with advocates of curbing the influence of ESG data on corporate decision-making, a feud playing out before business-friendly U.S. financial regulators that may shape a specialized corner of...
This week, David Marcus, Facebook’s vice president of messaging products, addressed one of the prominent criticisms of the global electronic currency since it was unveiled by the world’s biggest social network last month. When...
Paying for groceries in a growing number of stores in China requires neither cash, credit cards, or phone. Just a face to scan. Now, thanks to an Alipay device that plays on our narcissism, the scanned face...
OakNorth, backed by SoftBank, inked a five-year deal with Dutch bank NIBC, as traditional lenders are eager to team up with innovative startups and find AI and data-driven solutions that make the process of borrowing money more...
If J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s latest moves around the world are any indication, the world’s sixth-largest bank is getting anxious and wants to be at the forefront of the global banking revolution sweeping fintech and digital...
Private equity has raised $2.4 trillion, and, seeing that they’ve spent $256 billion on buyouts this year, they aren't afraid to spend it. As billions more are raised, companies focused on doing a social good have to...
First, it must be said, it’s good to start any endeavor with a lot of money.  Liesel Pritzker Simmons got it coming and going, though she had to fight in court a decade ago...
For nearly a decade now, a segment of market professionals on Wall Street, the City of London and elsewhere (you know who you are) have denounced sustainable investment strategies as nothing more than a marketing ploy. Impact...
The burgeoning field of women and minority-focused invest firms is getting attention from major players, with early-stage VC firm Harlem Capital Partners (HCP) seen as the “go-to partner for minority founders” by TPG Capital.
Kiva, the crowdsourced micro-lending platform, is going bigger to help refugees gain access to larger amounts of capital by launching the Kiva Refugee Investment Fund. Since 2016, Kiva has provided local micro-finance institutions, also...
France plans to assemble a G7 task force to study how banks monitor cryptocurrencies like Facebook’s Libra, France’s central governor announced on Friday, Reuters reported. This task force is the latest addition to a...
Before the dust had settled on Facebook’s announcement that it planned to introduce a digital coin, MoneyGram rushed in and announced a deal with cryptocurrency firm Ripple, where it will to distribute Ripple’s digital currency XRP across...
Hermes Investment Management makes no excuses for investing in “dirty” industries. Even as the $43 billion London-based asset manager pushes the industry to measure returns holistically — considering their impact on society and...
Facebook’s foray into digital banking has set up a millennial vs. establishment clash, where in a reversal, the old guard got there first. Launched when George W. Bush was president, Facebook this week unveiled...
Tuesday morning, Facebook revealed plans for its new cryptocurrency, Libra, that is actively backed by tech giants like Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, eBay, Lyft and Uber. Wall Street analysts exalted that Libra, also the name...
This week, Facebook joined Amazon, Apple and other big tech names as the race to implement a truly global digital currency and win over the unbanked population is heating up. Facebook’s success -- or dominance in the...
The stars are aligning for crypto to go mainstream as Facebook has announced the launch of Libra, a new digital currency that could revolutionise the way payments work -- and have a huge impact on the developing...
Following a series of privacy and misinformation scandals and increasing regulatory probes, Facebook is keen to improve its image as a force for good. Facebook will leverage its unparalleled global network of 2.4...
Global brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev has a new way to ensure that the African farmers who grow cassava for its burgeoning business in locally brewed beer get a fair price and deliver a reliable supply of the root,...
Morgan Stanley doesn’t want to be left behind, as socially responsible investing is gaining momentum in the United States and beyond. Morgan Stanley is offering customers a handful of impact investing options as...
Blockchain not only opens doors for people who don’t have access to banks, it can help improve the environment, healthcare and trust in the media, said Joseph Lubin, CEO of ConsenSys, at the Blockchain For Social Impact...
VC firms may vow to support diversity, but the numbers don’t bear that out. Only about 9% of venture capital flowed into companies that women entrepreneurs run; a minuscule 1% and 2%, respectively, to...
U.K. mobile-first bank Monzo sent a warning shot across the bow of the financial industry in 2016 when it needed just 96 seconds to raise more than $1.2 million through crowdfunding for its prepaid card.
Financing of international trade is such a complex and cumbersome business that by some estimates there’s a gap of more than $1.5 trillion between demand and supply. A new wave of startups, many using blockchain-based technology are...
Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. Andrei Cherny is not your typical banker. He had written speeches for President Bill Clinton, helped Elizabeth Warren launch the fight for what became the Consumer Financial...
Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. Over the past decade, mobile phone technology has provided access to banking services like credit, payments and wealth management to tens of millions in poor areas...
On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to, for their impact on industry. Earlier this month, Facebook quietly set up a company in Switzerland, according to a Reuters report. If the social media’s foray into Blockchain payment succeeds, analysts say...
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