eMoneyPool: Bringing #Fintech to a Centuries-Old Savings Tool

A cundina in Mexico. A chit fund in India. A sou sou in West African and Caribbean nations. Informal savings pools, around for centuries, are still the preferred savings tool of billions of low-income people around the world. Savings circles are common in another country with a large unbanked population as well — the United States. Phoenix-based

Behind the Impact Benchmark: Q & A with GIIN and Cambridge Associates

Impact investors are a tough crowd. For years, proponents have called for more data on impact fund performance and comparable returns to give investors better visibility into the real results of investments intended to generate social and environmental as well as financial benefits. But no sooner had the Global Impact Investing Network and Cambridge Associates released

Lending for African Farming: Financing the Other 90 Percent of Smallholder Agriculture

Social lenders such as Root Capital have pioneered financing for smallholder producers of export crops like coffee, cocoa, and tea. Now, Root is seeking to help build agricultural businesses that serve local staple crop markets as well — a financing market that may be 10 times as big. Root, together with Germany’s KfW Development Bank and agriculture

New Impact Benchmark from Cambridge Associates: Market-Rate Returns (Almost)

Down goes another obstacle to the growth of impact investing. The new Impact Investing Benchmark, from Cambridge Associates and the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), showed that a group of more than 50 impact investing funds delivered returns nearly as strong as a set of comparable funds with no measured social impact. Some subsets even

DBL Partners, Investor in Tesla and Solar City, Closes 3rd Fund at $400 Million

Want to spot the next Tesla? Watch DBL Partners. The “double bottom line” venture capital firm has closed DBL Partners III, its third fund, with $400 million in capital. The portfolios of DBL’s previous funds include some of the most successful social ventures to date, including Tesla Motors, Solar City, Revolution Foods and Ecologic. “The size

Chia Ting Ting: The Business Force Behind Malaysia’s Digital News Leader

Chia Ting Ting, the top advertising executive at Malaysia’s largest online news portal, appreciates something that many press advocates overlook: independent journalism requires financial independence as well. When Malaysiakini does a story on modern day slavery in Malaysia, for example, its newsroom is rightfully praised. Rarely acknowledged, however, are the behind-the-scenes staff that create the

Mayvenn Raises $10 Million from Andreessen Horowitz, Celebrities and Impact Investors to Streamline Hair Market

The U.S. market for hair, as in hair extensions and wigs, is a $5 billion a year industry. Mayvenn, an e-commerce startup based in Oakland, Calif., aims to put the hair experts — stylists — at the center of it. The company has closed a $10 million Series A round from an unlikely mix of mainstream,