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

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Rewire, an Amsterdam-based startup that’s developed an international banking platform for expatriate workers, raised $12 million in Series A financing, led by venture fund Viola Fintech, which is...
On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Money transfer startup TransferWise, which counts Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and PayPal founders Peter Thiel and Max Levchin among its investors, is preparing to sell a...
Strategic Investors: Profiles of investors with strategies to consider. Too little of the money flowing from the male-dominated world of venture capital flows to the women who found some of the world’s most innovative companies. That much is well established....
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...
Debate swirls around whether environmentally friendly companies outperform the wider universe of firms. A study by Stanford and Yonsei university economists offers compelling evidence that they do.  The researchers, Stanford’s Soh Young In and...
On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. There are hundreds of fintech offerings that are aiming to solve different challenges, from how consumers save money to how employers reimburse workers. But this latest wave of fintech...
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...
It’s no surprise that European institutions are spearheading innovation and regulation of cryptocurrency, but this latest move will affect central banks around the world. The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) appointed Benoît Cœuré as...
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...
New guidelines released today by the Institute of International Finance aim to clear up the language used to describe sustainable investment and measure industry progress.  The Washington D.C.-based IIF, whose membership includes many of...
China’s Communist Party is the latest cheerleader for Blockchain, the technology underpinning Facebook’s Libra currency, with plans to use it to manage risk and ensure loyalty. Applied in conjunction with artificial intelligence, Blockchain may...
On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Upstart Network, an artificial intelligence (AI) lending platform founded by ex-Googlers, has raised $50 million in equity funding. Progressive Investment Company, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan and...
Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures, Fidelity Investments and the U.K.’s Theo Osborne were among high-profile firms backing Ethic Inc. in its latest funding round, as they bet on rising demand for tracking tools as more money gets directed...
Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. The extent to which robo-advisory is either a boon or threat to the traditional wealth management industry has been a major question...
The latest tool in the global push toward environmental sustainability may be an enhanced financial statement. Researchers at Harvard Business School suggest that business leaders need a quantifiable way to assess the impact that...
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...
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...
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...
Strategic Investors: Profiles of investors with strategies to consider. The popularity of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) strategies has been one of the hallmarks of impact investment in the last 10 years. Once seen as little more than warmed-over philanthropy,...
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...
Not enough investment capital is flowing into emerging and frontier markets despite potential for strong returns and the opportunity to help the world’s poorest communities, according to a recent report from the Global Impact Investing Network. 
While KKR pulled off edutech, fintech and real estate deals in the third-quarter, the private equity investor’s profit slipped, a victim of the record-setting U.S. stock market’s downside. Lofty valuations made cutting deals more difficult...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Key Takeaway: Gender diversity can pay off for investors as companies that promote women to CEO and CFO are likely to be more profitable and have better...
Key Takeaway: Panelists at the Global Impact Investing Network Investor Forum in Amsterdam challenge investors to change portfolios to reflect urgent global needs
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.
Key Takeaway: As big banks like Wells Fargo, JPMorgan offer stablecoin cryptocurrencies, and Facebook and Walmart reportedly plan theirs, smaller providers are plotting how to stand out...
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