Rise Of The Angels


Jun 05, 2021



Jun 05, 2021



With several headlines concerning the racial wealth gap this week, the tech and financial services ecosystems are stepping up to address the matter. In addition to the US administration pledging billions to reduce the racial wealth gap, financial services companies committed ~$50b worth of racial equity pledges (Chase alone accounted for $30b).

According to Creative Investment Research, unfortunately only ~$250m have been spent or committed to specific initiatives thus far. The venture/startup certainly cannot solve this massive challenge, but it can help. Some companies are stepping up their commitment to the Cap Table Coalition –an attempt to diversify the VC ecosystem by opening investment opportunities to a diverse set of angel investors. Specifically, by reserving 10% of rounds (typically involves future commitments) to such investors.

Startups now have a variety of tools to increase engagement with diverse hires and angel investors. The latter play a meaningful role in the early days of company creation, with so-called “mafias” that emerge in high-growth, tech enterprises. Beyond wealth formation, it perpetuates engagement in the ecosystem, feeding talent and resources back into it.

We previously wrote about Philanthropy in the 21st Century (Apr 24, 2021). Clearly, there’s also potential to innovate in the angel investing sphere, with change already underway. And, for those feeling dizzy by the pace of innovation, there are always some old people out there to help you relax… Friends: The Reunion!

Portfolio News

MoneyLion reports strong first quarter 2021 results - MoneyLion reported strong first-quarter 2021 results - Q1 2021 net revenue increased 98%, reaching $33.2m, compared to $16.8m in Q1 2020, and total customers grew by 80% to 1.8m in the first quarter, compared to 1.0m in Q1 2020. Read more

Reonomy to be featured in 2021 Financing CRE Forum - Portfolio company Reonomy will be featured on 6/10 at 11AM PDT in a panel discussion with experts from @jpmorgan real estate banking, Mesa West Capital, and MREC Management moderated by @richsarkis. Read more

Vestwell leverages Bambu's Wealth Management API to build an advisor managed account offering natively into its platform - By leveraging Bambu's wealth management API, Vestwell and its partners will be able to offer personalized investment strategies to help their clients better prepare for retirement based on actionable retirement goals. Read more

App focuses on racial wealth disparities by boosting credit scores- and home ownership - Portfolio company Antler's My Home Pathway is addressing the fact that the homeownership rate for blacks is currently about 44% vs. around 74% for whites, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. But that gap isn’t just huge. It’s also a major contributor to racial economic disparities. Read more

Rise Of The Angels

The Cap Table Coalition aims to diversify the VC ecosystem - It seeks to do so by by creating investment opportunities for Black, Latinx, LGBTQ+, women, and other traditionally marginalized investors. The Coalition is made up of high-growth startups, VC firms, and emerging fund managers who want to help close the racial wealth gap. Read more

‘Shopify Mafia’ aims to become bigger force in angel investing - Dubbed Shopify Angels by its participants, the chat has become a gathering spot for a new generation of investors connected through their past or present work for Canada’s most prominent tech company. Read more

Industry News

DeFi Is Helping to Fuel the Crypto Market Boom—and Its Recent Volatility - A good read on DeFi in the WSJ. Important, as assets deposited as collateral on DeFi platforms, have grown to more than $100b, of which about $64b is on Ethereum, according to DeFi Pulse. A year ago, there were only about $1b of DeFi assets on Ethereum. Read more

How the virus disrupted inflation statistics - “You can easily see why CPI was a poor measure of inflation during the pandemic recession." Spending on groceries increased 29% in March last pushing prices up 2.7% month-on-month. By contrast, transport spending declined 70% and prices dropped 7%. Read more

Silicon Valley bets on crypto projects to disrupt finance - In the span of two years, what started as a curiosity has ballooned in size, ushering in a new model for technology investing in the process. Private investors have backed 72 DeFi companies this year, according to PitchBook data, already surpassing last year’s total by more than a quarter. Read more

Venture capital fund plays role of credit union-fintech matchmaker - Because of their smaller size and scale relative to banks, many credit unions find it hard to draw the attention of fintechs. A new venture capital offering has set its sights on fixing that problem. Read more

Uruguay gets its first billionaires with U.S. fintech IPO - dLocal, the cross-border payments company, raised $618m in its IPO with an initial market cap of $6.2b. Wealth in Uruguay has historically been tied to agriculture and meatpacking, but it took a fintech startup to create the country’s first billionaires. Read more

Mir breaks Visa-Mastercard duopoly in Russia - As Europe's proposed alternative to Visa and Mastercard takes shape, evidence from Russia suggests that an upstart rival can break the American giants' duopoly - if government is prepared to put its finger on the scale. Read more

Global food prices post biggest jump in a decade - The year-on-year leap in UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s monthly food price index was the largest since 2011 and signaled that inflation initially stoked by pandemic disruption is accelerating. Read more

Mastercard releases new badge for easy identification of recycled cards - According to a recent Mastercard study, 58% of consumers are more mindful of their impact on the environment, with 85% willing to take personal action this year. Read more

Financial blockchain in Latam: from exploration to application - Latin American financial institutions have become more open-minded about blockchain in recent years. Yet solid use cases are needed for it to become more wide-spread. Read more

Select Financings

Belvo - Mexico City open-finance API platform for Latin America raised $43m in Series A funding led by Future Positive, Kibo Ventures, and FJ Labs. Read more

Bought By Many - UK based pet insurance provider raised $350m in Series D funding at a $2b valuation led by EQT Growth. Read more

Chipper Cash - San Francisco based payments platform focused on Africa raised $100m in Series C funding led by SVB Capital. Read more

idwall - Brazil based identity verification platform raised $38m in Series C funding led by Endurance. Read more

Jai Kisan - India based agriculture financing platform for rural India raised $30m in Series A funding led by Mirae Asset. Read more

Jeeves - New York based expense management platform for Latin America raised $26m in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. Read more

Kushki - Ecuador based financial infrastructure provider raised $86m in Series B funding led by SoftBank. Read more

MotoRefi - Washington, D.C. based auto loan refinancing platform raised $45m in Series B funding led by Goldman Sachs. Read more

Pinwheel - New York based payroll API has raised $20m in Series A funding led by Coatue. Read more

Spruce - New York based title and residential closing tech platform raised $60m in Series C funding led by Zigg Capital. Read more

Synctera - San Francisco based fintech-as-a-service platform for community banks raised $33m in Series A funding led by Fin VC. Read more

Truebill - Maryland based personal finance management app raised $45m in Series D funding led by Accel. Read more

Wefox - Berlin based personal digital insurance platform raised $650m in Series C funding at a $3b valuation led by Target Global. Read more


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