FinTech

We explore global companies offering digital banking solutions for modern consumers, underserved populations and unbanked individuals. This covers retail banking, investment services, credit and lending solutions. 

Refugee-Founded Blockchain-Powered Identity Platform Raises Seed Capital

A pepperoni pizza delivery to Ter Apel refugee camp in northeastern Holland inspired a Blockchain-powered system that one day may enable millions of people to prove who they are without government documents. Today, Toufic “Tey” El-Rjula, 34, is founder...

Disrupting Trade Finance with Blockchain: Huge Potential But Little Real Progress

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 different counterparties -- importers, exporters,...

Goldman Sachs Wants to Dive ‘Further Than Ever Before’ Into Digital Assets

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 giant is hiring a project...

Hong Kong’s Diginex to Be Listed on Nasdaq as Crypto Companies Prefer to Go Public in the U.S.

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 on the Nasdaq through a...

A Battle Is Brewing Over Proxy Advisors, and ESG May Lose It

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 investing for years.

OakNorth, U.K.’s Most Valuable Fintech, Is Lining Up Bank Deals

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 seamless and efficient.  

What Is Driving J.P. Morgan’s Global Fintech Ambitions

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 currencies. Just...

Private Equity Amasses $2.4 Trillion Warchest — How Much Will Social Investments Get?

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 be wondering how much they’ll...

Liesel Pritzker Simmons Pours Heart, Hyatt Fortune into African Social Projects

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 her share as an...

How the ESG Data Debate Feeds the Enemies of the Good

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 strategies and the ESG data...

TPG Buys Stake in Minority-Focused VC Firm Harlem Capital Partners

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. TPG Capital, the PE giant...

Hermes Management: Why Some ESG Investors Take On ‘Dirty’ Investments

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 the environment — it also...

Facebook’s Libra Will Have to Take On JPM Coin, Banking Giants to Succeed

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 an effort to start a...

Is Facebook’s Libra a Real Blockchain? No.

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 of Ancient Rome’s pioneering currency,...

Facebook Will Square Off Against Amazon, Apple in the Race Towards Digital Banking Supremacy

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 crypto space -- is far...

Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency May Spark Financial Revolution In the Developing World

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 world in the process.

After a Series of Disasters, Facebook Wants to Make Things Right with Its Big Crypto Project

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 billion users to deploy a...

Blockchain Finance Uses SMS Texts to Help African Farmers

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, which replaces expensive imported barley...

Joseph Lubin: Blockchain’s Social Impact Goes Way Beyond Finances

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 Conference in New York.

VC Firm Ulu Ventures Connects Diversity to Profitability

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 those of black and Hispanic...

The Fintech Startup Taunting U.K. Banks Out of the Stone Age

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. With the U.K.’s banking...

Competition Heats up for Trade Finance Digitalization

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 working to fill that gap,...

Frontier Tech VC Pioneer Nisa Amoils Sees Opportunity in Finance’s Gender Gap

Strategic Investors: Profiles of investors with strategies to consider. Nisa Amoils, named one of 30 Women in Venture Capital to Watch by Business Insider in 2018, had a different journey in mind when she began her career in the 1990s. As a securities lawyer, she worked for several...

LeapFrog Elevates Startup Morale in Emerging Markets With $700 Million Fund

Australian private equity firm LeapFrog Investment raised $700 million for a new fund aimed at improving “the startup ecosystem” in financial services and healthcare in Asia and Africa. The fund, with a lead investment from New Jersey-based Prudential Financial, takes LeapFrog’s total commitments to $1.6...

Why France’s Biggest Venture Firm Is Bullish on Africa

Strategic Investors: Profiles of investors with strategies to consider. Partech, one of France’s oldest and Europe’s biggest VC firms, didn’t want to miss the boat on Africa’s vast opportunities in the tech space. So even as other investors became skittish about Africa, Partech launched its first...

Goldman’s ‘Impact Chess’ Strategies Help Investors Gain Edge

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to, for their impact on industry. When Goldman Sachs in 2015 approached John Goldstein with an unsolicited bid for his impact advisory firm, he took it as a sign that sustainable investing, once a niche industry, could...

Q&A with Stephanie Rupp: “Everybody’s scrambling to have an ESG portfolio”

Strategic Investors: Profiles of investors with strategies to consider. Impact investing doesn’t mean settling for lower profits. Veteran impact investor Stephanie Rupp discussed the importance of authenticity in impact investment with Karma Network and how it can enhance financial performance. Ms. Rupp, former head of impact...

Impact Investing Gets More Cred with Blackstone’s New Platform

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 will focus on health and...

What’s Fueling Family Offices’ Interest in Impact Investing

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to, for their impact on industry. Impact investing isn’t on the radar of some family offices yet, but it seems it may be soon as a new generation of investors take over. “We have a pretty common generational...

Rhonda Carnoil: “If you’re using open source, you need to track it.”

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. Just as journalists once viewed the internet as a place where “information wants to be free,” software developers have embraced open source software as a great democratic...
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