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Eco-Friendly Fintech

Published:

May 15, 2021


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Posted In:

Environment

Published:

May 15, 2021


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With people filling plastic bags with gas in some parts of the US and Tesla reversing course on accepting Bitcoin - citing environmental concerns - the fintech community’s increasingly important relationship with climate change is coming to light.

Green fintech startups are innovating at a rapid pace - launching apps that track the carbon emissions of our shopping habits, allowing consumers to invest in green ETFs and stocks, and - in the case of some challenger banks - issuing debit cards that fight against plastic pollution.

One area where the ‘E’ in ESG is gaining momentum is in pensions and retirement. With retirement assets in the US at a gargantuan $32t, and €8t in Europe, investors have become more attracted to green stocks.

In the crypto world, Bitcoin alone accounts for 0.5% of global electricity consumption (or 55m metric tons of CO₂ annually), which is on-par with nations such as Argentina. A single BTC transaction generates the same amount of carbon as ~1m Visa transactions. Ironically, it’s also more than the entire estimated net gains from deploying electric vehicles.

Other cryptocurrencies are much more environmentally friendly. In context: Bitcoin consumes 707 KWh of energy per transaction — that's 11x more than Ethereum, 38x more than Litecoin, and nearly 6,000x more than Doge.

Yet, despite the headlines this week on Tesla’s removal of Bitcoin-as-payment and the subsequent price collapses, the crypto world has nevertheless managed to show its “bark”. Particularly Ethereum, as its co-founder donated $1b in Shiba INU - admittedly a meme coin - to the India Covid relief.

Portfolio News


NYDIG: Life insurance + Bitcoin survey - Almost half of current life insurance and annuity owners already hold digital assets, like bitcoin. They want their insurer to catch up. With over 46m Americans owning bitcoin today based on our prior research. Read more

Seed VC trends: founder obsession - Portfolio company Antler's Tyler Norwood (US partner) is featured in Futurized, speaking about seed VC trends. He is interviewed by host Trond Arne Undheim, futurist, investor, and author. Read more

MoneyLion partners with NFP and Nationwide to give members direct access to insurance & financial wellness offerings - The collaboration, powered by NFP’s InsurChoice program, enables portfolio company MoneyLion’s members to shop for and buy insurance products and solutions through its all-in-one financial platform, where they already bank, borrow, save and invest. Read more

Eco-Friendly Fintech


Can green fintech startups solve the polluting pension problem? A recent survey in the UK found that 44% of people would switch over to a green pension if they could, despite the fact that the average UK pension holder finances 23 tonnes of CO₂ emissions each year through the companies they invest in. Read more

Elon Musk says Tesla will stop accepting bitcoin for car purchases, citing environmental concerns - Tesla has “suspended vehicle purchases using bitcoin,” out of concern over “rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for bitcoin mining,” according to a tweet from CEO Elon Musk on Wednesday. Read more

Adyen brings climate action to the checkout - Adyen is looking to combat climate change at the checkout, giving merchants the ability to offer shoppers the opportunity to offset the carbon footprint of their purchases at the end of the sale. Read more

Ethereum co-founder donates $1b of shiba inu coin to India Covid relief - Vitalik Buterin donated $1b worth of shiba inu coin — a dogecoin spinoff — to a Covid-19 relief fund in India. The 27-year-old Russian-Canadian programmer transferred more than 50t shiba inucoins. Read more

Industry News


The untold story of the NFT boom - Digital creators used the blockchain to create a whole new art scene. Then their work started selling for thousands — sometimes millions of dollars. Read more

‘Buy now, pay later’: lack of data slows growth in Latam - Financing big-ticket purchases through “buy now, pay later” is gaining ground internationally. In Latin America, the credit model faces a bumpy growth outlook. Read more

Kaszek raising $800m as investors eye Latin American startups - Kaszek, whose main office is in São Paulo, pictured above, is seeking $400m for an early-stage fund and $400m for a growth fund, according to a presentation by the firm and people familiar with the matter. Read more

BLIK doubles its results: 153m transactions in the first quarter - From January to March 2021, Polish mobile payment system BLIK users performed over 153m transactions worth PLN 20b. At the end of the first quarter, as many as 7.6m people were actively using it. Read more

Fed’s Waller says inflation jump is likely temporary, urges patience - Over the past week, official data has shown April job creation falling far short of economists’ forecasts, evidence of a shortage of available workers, and consumer prices rising much faster than expected. Read more

Branch announces free unlimited money transfers and Nigeria’s leading investment returns at 20% - These new offerings complement instant loans up to N500,000, free bill pay, airtime top-ups, and other existing services found within the app. Read more

Google Pay US users can now send money to users in India and Singapore - The company has partnered with Western Union and Wise, both of which have integrated their services into Google Pay. The company is kickstarting its cross-border payments feature with India and Singapore and intends to expand this worldwide. Read more

Silicon Valley legend selects Miami as headquarters for latest fintech startup - Former PayPal CEO and serial fintech entrepreneur Bill Harris has moved to Miami to launch Nirvana, a global digital bank. Harris was also CEO of Intuit, founding CEO of Personal Capital, and founder of seven other successful fintech startups. Read more

Bahrain’s central bank to pilot digital dollar with JP Morgan and Bank ABC - The three entities will test an instantaneous cross border payment solution, which will include the use of digital currencies. It will see funds transferred between Bahrain and the US via Bank ABC and JP Morgan, on the behalf of buyers. Read more

Select Financings


Babel - Hong Kong based crypto asset management and lending platform raised $40m in Series A funding led by Tiger Global. Read more

CloudWalk - Brazil based payments platform raised $190m in Series B funding led by Coatue. Read more

Collective - San Francisco based back-office platform for the self-employed raised $20m in Series A funding led by General Catalyst. Read more

Contractbook - Denmark based contract automation platform raised $30m in Series B financing led by Tiger Global. Read more

Divibank – Brazil based financing platform offering LatAm businesses access to growth capital raised $3.6m in equity funding led by Better Tomorrow Ventures. Read more

FinLync - Singapore based software provider for corporate finance and treasury raised $16m in equity funding led by Point72 Ventures. Read more

Lili - New York based mobile banking solution for freelancers raised $55m in Series B funding led by Group 11. Read more

Ontop - Colombia based payroll and tax manager for international teams raised $4.5m in Seed funding led by Point 72 Ventures. Read more

Planck - New York based data platform for commercial insurance raised $20m in equtiy funding led by 3L and Greenfield Partners. Read more

Pomelo - Argentina based fintech-as-a-service platform for Latin America raised $9m in Seed funding led by Index Ventures and monashees. Read more

Relay - Toronto based digital banking platform for small businesses raised $19.4m in equity funding led by Bain Capital Ventures. Read more

Sanlo - San Francisco based financial tool-kit for app and gaming publishers raised $3.5m in Seed financing co-led by Index Ventures and Initial Capital. Read more

Spinwheel - San Francisco based consumer debt management platform raised $11m in funding led by QED Investors. Read more

Stampli - California based software platform for corporate invoice management raised $50m in Series C financing led by Insight Partners. Read more

Treasury Prime - San Francisco based banking-as-a-service startup raised $20m in Series B financing co-led by Deciens Capital and QED investors. Read more


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