Here are some stories that the team at Vested is reading and thinking about to begin the week.
Access to capital: Led by Greycroft and Green Visor Capital, with participation from Y Combinator and Glynn Capital, Flutterwave’s $10m Series A raises signals that African fintech startups are becoming yet more attractive. Quartz says the widespread lack of access to financial services in Africa is one factor that’s driving the potentially massive returns.
“Rather than disrupting an existing infrastructure as their counterparts in the developed world are, they are in fact building a whole new infrastructure of their own,” one source explained.
Meanwhile, there are 1,100 United States communities without a bank branch, according to Fed data. Though an analysis from The Economist found just 1.7% of the population is truly lacking access, “community organisations worry that if branches continue to close in poor areas, many neighbourhoods could become reliant on payday lenders and cheque-cashing stores,” it stated.
22,000: During the past month, small investors sent $17b from stock mutual funds and ETFs to bond funds. How can this possibly be good for the Dow? It has to do with the fact that trillions of dollars in wealth is managed in such a way as to keep exposure to stocks constant — steady and automatic, like how an organism keeps its body at the right temperature, wrote the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Zweig.
AI ignored: Most banking professionals surveyed say artificial intelligence will have a large impact on the industry. But hardly any plan to invest in it over the short-term, according to a new report from Celent.
“A lot felt it was expensive, a lot of people have a general lack of understanding,” said one of its authors.
Something for nothing? Fintech startup Dave, backed by Mark Cuban, lets users borrow up to $75, interest-free, to avoid overdraft fees. There does not seem to be a catch beyond accumulating the type of users it hopes will not be in need of overdraft protection for long.
Client news: “Through the partnership, Clarity customers will be able to invest using some of Acorns’ features, and Clarity users that already use Acorns can get an overview of their investing activity through Clarity’s app.”
We hope you have a productive week. Please send any suggestions or feedback to the editor of this weekly newsletter at email@example.com.