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

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...
On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. For the first time in its history, Facebook is reportedly on the hunt for outside funding. The New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper dropped the news on Twitter April 8,...
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...
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...
Investors scrutinizing target companies’ commitments to environmental, social and governance principles sometimes find they need a hand cutting through the feel-good fluff to measure what’s actually getting done.  Germany’s Arabesque S-Ray says it can...
WhatsApp’s delayed digital payment system in India is moving closer to a start, as it addresses privacy concerns before becoming the latest entrant in a market projected to hit $1 trillion by 2023. WhatsApp Pay...
Women entrepreneurs have long been overlooked by technology-focused venture capitalists. That may be changing in the Netherlands, whose largest city -- Amsterdam -- is seen as one of Europe’s central VC and tech centers. 
This content is brought to you in partnership with Sustainable Brands. Sustainable Brands hosted its eighth annual New Metrics conference at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel from Nov. 18-20. More than 300 professionals from over...
On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Riskified, an Israeli-based fintech security startup, is seeking to raise as much as $200 million to ramp up expansion amid the explosive growth of the e-commerce...
On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Robot Ventures is just the latest blockchain investment by Bain Capital Ventures, which has about $3.6 billion of assets under management. BCV and Ripple’s developer ecosystem initiative Xpring,...
Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. Two large Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs), Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company, have reportedly raised questions about the high...
Google, as if daring the U.S. government to break it up, is eyeing another massive section of the U.S. economy for a business venture: banking.  While this latest move might draw regulators’ attention, it...
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...
Millennials without credit scores, freelancers and low-income people with no experience in handling finances aren’t the usual groups that the banking industry targets. But three fintech startups believe they can cater to these underserved customers in ways...
On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to, for their impact on industry. Blackstone launched an impact investing platform this week, signaling that major investors are becoming more active and seeing competitive returns in the social impact sector. The platform...
As Bitcoin gains use in international transactions, and in providing finances to people without access to regular banks, critics are pointing to the environmental costs exacted by the powerful computers used to “mine” buried Bitcoin codes.
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...
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...
On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Extend, the virtual credit-card platform focused on participants of the gig economy, has raised $11 million to expand its service, add clients and make new hires. The...
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...
“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...
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...
This piece is brought to you in partnership with the Conduit Connect. With tangible spending data, the statement “vote with your dollar” can be more than just a feel-good phrase -- but the lack...
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...
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,...
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...
Nigeria’s central bank is planning to issue licenses to more payment providers, aiming to “improve the country’s financial-inclusion rate to 80% by the end of next year from about 60%,” Bloomberg reports. Central Bank...
A former Trump campaign advisor and unsuccessful Federal Reserve nominee is set to launch a new stablecoin backed by a pricing model that has already failed once because of regulatory concerns. Economist Stephen Moore,...
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...
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...
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