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Zimbabwe's FlexID Technologies secures early funding for blockchain-based digital IDs – ImpactAlpha




In Silicon Valley, talent follows the capital – and the optimists – into climate tech. Where you stand on the incipient tech slowdown may depend on where you sit. Investors and executives in climate tech are seeing – and welcoming – an upswell of talent. “We’ve never seen talent migration like this,” tweets Collaborative Fund’s Craig Shapiro. “The quality of talent wanting to work in climate right now is insane,” says Apoorv Bhargava of San Francisco-based WeaveGrid. “Huge demand for designers at climate tech companies!” reports Justin Hardin of upstart climate job-discovery platform Climatebase. Indeed, the downturn in other tech sectors could free up even more talent for important work on climate solutions, suggests Fervo’s Tim Latimer. “Let’s hope we continue to see a wave of smart people interested in climate.”
Zimbabwe’s FlexID Technologies secures early funding for blockchain-based digital IDs. Many people in Africa lack formal identity papers, particularly in remote areas, making it harder to get agricultural support, financial services, healthcare and education. FlexID says it is replacing paper-based credentials, which are “expensive to issue, manage and verify in emerging market countries where there is no trusted identity infrastructure.” The company registers and verifies individuals’ identities on the Algorand blockchain platform and lets individuals manage their online IDs via mobile phone. Algorand’s philanthropic arm invested an undisclosed amount in FlexID via a “simple agreement for equity,” or SAFE.
How simple, low-cost loans can clear a barrier to citizenship. Those newly naturalized Americans in the stirring pictures of immigrants taking the Oath of Citizenship? Every one of them paid a fee. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services runs on user fees that can run from $400 to $1,200 for eligible immigrants. At least partly as a result, as many as 90% of the nine million eligible immigrants each year never apply for naturalization. Many that do take out high-interest loans or run up credit-card debt. A new flexible, unsecured, 1% loan to cover such fees, dubbed One Percent for America, represents a modest, simple and practical way to unclog the immigration pipeline and enhance livelihoods, says Elyse Cherry of BlueHub Capital, which has already made more than 70 loans through the portal.
Bernadette Clavier is stepping down as director of the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. The center is recruiting its next director… French President Emmanuel Macron and Michael Bloomberg, U.N. Special Envoy for Climate Ambition, form the Climate Data Steering Committee “to monitor business climate actions and commitments in the global fight against climate change.” 
ImpactAlpha, June 3 – Just as investment in financial inclusion in Africa was really ramping up, a market downturn threatens to slow progress. Or
ImpactAlpha, May 13 –  One defining outcome of the pandemic: a boom in entrepreneurship. A record five million businesses were started in the
ImpactAlpha, April 22 – The Ukraine crisis risks tipping up to 1.7 billion people — over one-fifth of humanity — into poverty, destitution
ImpactAlpha, Apr. 1 – High-impact investments in fragile countries invariably entail political risk. And impact investments in a free press, humanitarian tech, financial inclusion
ImpactAlpha, Mar. 11 – It’s one thing for a corporation to set environmental or social goals. It’s another to shift executives, employees and supply
ImpactAlpha, Feb. 25 – Bottom-up policies for access to capital in divested communities. Top-down strategies to reshape capitalism to work for all stakeholders. “We
ImpactAlpha, Feb. 11 – ”$100 a ton?” exclaimed CDP’s Paula DiPerna on ImpactAlpha’s Agents of Impact Call this week. “I should be popping champagne.”
‘Tis the season for our lookaheads to 2022 and, thanks to ImpactAlpha subscribers, we are able to make the roundups freely available. So
ImpactAlpha, Dec. 3 – The New Capitalism Project has over the past two years dissected the failings of the current system and crafted a
ImpactAlpha, November 19 – The boom in African fintech startups began before COVID-19. The economic shutdowns and financial dislocations of the pandemic supercharged
ImpactAlpha, Oct. 29 – As the COP26 global climate summit kicks off this weekend, much of the focus will be on the massive
ImpactAlpha, Oct. 15 – Invest in climate action for the planet – and the people.  “Climate change is a public health issue, it’s a
ImpactAlpha, June 6 – Pro tip for entrepreneurs or fund managers getting ready to pitch Oakland-based Kapor Capital: Don’t leave diversity out of
FullCycle’s Stephan Nicoleau deconstructs the climate conversation at the recent Davos meeting of the World Economic Forum with podcast host Monique Aiken, and
ImpactAlpha, May 26 — Donnell Baird arrived at Davos this week with his partners from Brooklyn and Ithaca, where BlocPower is greening thousands
“My question when I’m really quiet, or even when I’m talking to close friends and colleagues, is one word: Why? Why does this
David Bank joins Monique Aiken to discuss the politics of ESG and the importance of flexible financing for startups and small businesses. Plus,
David Bank joins host Brian Walsh to preview next week’s Agents of Impact call (3:45). And Bank checks in with Kevin Jones from
ImpactAlpha, May 3 – The Pasatiempo apartments on the edge of Silicon Valley near downtown Fremont, Calif., are a mix of market-rate and
Host Monique Aiken is joined by Jessica Pothering to explore the, yes, social impact of private investment trends on the African continent. Plus,
Host Brian Walsh is joined by roundtable regulars Imogen Rose-Smith and David Bank to decide which type of “activist investor” Carl Icahn is
David Bank joins host Monique Aiken to preview next week’s call on catalyzing capital for climate adaptation. And we hear from Jonathan Phillips
ImpactAlpha’s Roodgally Senatus joins host Brian Walsh to discuss his story – and photos! – from the frontlines of BlocPower efforts to train a
David Bank joins host Monique Aiken to recap this week’s call on how impact investors are approaching political risk and conflict in Eastern
Find great companies, add growth capital, and the result are bigger, stronger, more scalable companies. This analysis demonstrates what happens when the “missing
Public policy and regulatory action have helped accelerate and catalyze the flow of private capital for public good for decades. The historic regulatory
Market sizing studies help institutional investors, fund managers, regulators and policymakers accurately assess opportunities and stay competitive. But since the last edition of
ESG investing – short for Environment, Social and Governance – now accounts for about $15 trillion of assets under management in the USA,
More than two billion photos were taken of dinner plates in 2020, at the advent of a global pandemic. Americans have always turned
ImpactAlpha, May 18 – As oil and gas companies enter the annual shareholder meeting season, they face a concerned, perhaps skeptical, investment community. Their
Black and Indigenous communities live on the front lines of the climate crisis – where negative health, quality of life, and economic outcomes of
Investors are pouring money into environmental, social & governance and green bonds. Green bond issuance alone is expected to reach up to $1
To meet the urgency of climate change, we need to develop and implement nascent and transformational solutions developed by startup companies that don’t
How to understand and harness the recent influx of capital into ESG products was the conversation at the center of this week’s 25th
Face it: responsible investment is about political choices. Short of this reckoning, the fate of ESG might be the least of our concerns.
Even experienced impact investors struggle with impact measurement and management, or IMM, within their portfolios. They recognize that there is often untapped value
ImpactAlpha, Jun. 7 –  Where you stand on the incipient tech slowdown may depend on where you sit. Investors and executives in climate
ImpactAlpha, May 27 – Five years ago, Olu Oyinsan felt an urgent pull back to his native Nigeria while working in the early-stage practice
ImpactAlpha, May 6 – Kevin Jones played an early role in convening the disparate, and sometimes unruly, tribes of impact investing under the tents
ImpactAlpha, Apr. 29 – The climate disruption is spurring a long overdue upgrade for 500 million smallholder farmers, who produce up to 80% of
If it feels like one calamity after another, put yourself in Maya Winkelstein’s shoes. Open Road Alliance, which Winkelstein has led for a
ImpactAlpha, April 8 – The U.N. chief and former Portuguese prime minister has a simple critique of government and business leaders saying one
ImpactAlpha, March 25 – “I’m a horrible banker,” admits Holdsclaw, who served as director of strategic initiatives at the National Cooperative Bank. Holdsclaw
ImpactAlpha, March 18 – Billions of dollars of venture capital are flooding into Latin America. Everybody wants to be a gender-lens investor. And
ImpactAlpha, March 4 — New Orleans-based Advantage Capital seeks out businesses in underserved communities, in part because that’s where subsidies are available under
ImpactAlpha, February 18 – The risk factors for a venture fund based in Ramallah, Palestine are obvious; the opportunities perhaps less so. “The
ImpactAlpha, Feb. 4 – Of the nine “Operating Principles for Impact Management,” arguably the most important is the last one: “publicly disclose alignment” and
ImpactAlpha, January 28 –The climate crisis galvanized attention on Indigenous communities. Sheena Brown is seizing the moment to fund and empower Indigenous-led organizations
ImpactAlpha, June 7 – Many people in Africa lack formal identity papers, particularly in remote areas, making it harder to get agricultural support, financial services, health care and education. FlexID Technologies in Zimbabwe says it is replacing paper-based credentials, which are “expensive to issue, manage and verify in emerging market countries where there is no trusted identity infrastructure.”
The company registers and verifies individuals’ identities on the Algorand blockchain platform and lets individuals manage their online IDs via mobile phone.
Last year, FlexID partnered with healthcare provider Ubuntu Clinics to pilot the use of digital identification for 50,000 patients. “The challenge for healthcare systems worldwide is ‘doing more for less,’” said FlexID’s Victor Mapunga.
Algorand’s philanthropic arm invested an undisclosed amount in FlexID via a “simple agreement for equity,” or SAFE.
Choose beats that you’re interested in, and we’ll show you more of them as you explore…
In Silicon Valley, talent follows the capital – and the optimists – into climate tech. Where you stand on the incipient tech slowdown may depend on where you sit. Investors and executives in climate tech are seeing – and welcoming – an upswell of talent. “We’ve never seen talent migration like this,” tweets Collaborative Fund’s Craig Shapiro. “The quality of talent wanting to work in climate right now is insane,” says Apoorv Bhargava of San Francisco-based WeaveGrid. “Huge demand for designers at climate tech companies!” reports Justin Hardin of upstart climate job-discovery platform Climatebase. Indeed, the downturn in other tech sectors could free up even more talent for important work on climate solutions, suggests Fervo’s Tim Latimer. “Let’s hope we continue to see a wave of smart people interested in climate.”
Zimbabwe’s FlexID Technologies secures early funding for blockchain-based digital IDs. Many people in Africa lack formal identity papers, particularly in remote areas, making it harder to get agricultural support, financial services, healthcare and education. FlexID says it is replacing paper-based credentials, which are “expensive to issue, manage and verify in emerging market countries where there is no trusted identity infrastructure.” The company registers and verifies individuals’ identities on the Algorand blockchain platform and lets individuals manage their online IDs via mobile phone. Algorand’s philanthropic arm invested an undisclosed amount in FlexID via a “simple agreement for equity,” or SAFE.
How simple, low-cost loans can clear a barrier to citizenship. Those newly naturalized Americans in the stirring pictures of immigrants taking the Oath of Citizenship? Every one of them paid a fee. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services runs on user fees that can run from $400 to $1,200 for eligible immigrants. At least partly as a result, as many as 90% of the nine million eligible immigrants each year never apply for naturalization. Many that do take out high-interest loans or run up credit-card debt. A new flexible, unsecured, 1% loan to cover such fees, dubbed One Percent for America, represents a modest, simple and practical way to unclog the immigration pipeline and enhance livelihoods, says Elyse Cherry of BlueHub Capital, which has already made more than 70 loans through the portal.
Bernadette Clavier is stepping down as director of the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. The center is recruiting its next director… French President Emmanuel Macron and Michael Bloomberg, U.N. Special Envoy for Climate Ambition, form the Climate Data Steering Committee “to monitor business climate actions and commitments in the global fight against climate change.” 
ImpactAlpha, Jun. 7 –  Where you stand on the incipient tech slowdown may depend on where you sit. Investors and executives in climate
ImpactAlpha, June 7 – Temasek, the $283 billion sovereign wealth fund in Singapore is standing up GenZero to deploy long-term and flexible capital
Find great companies, add growth capital, and the result are bigger, stronger, more scalable companies. This analysis demonstrates what happens when the “missing
ImpactAlpha, Jun. 3 – Minimizing food waste. Managing emissions of food brands and ingredients. Decarbonizing fertilizers and food processors. Climate change is spurring
ImpactAlpha, May 31 – India-based Aavishkaar Capital says it’s raising carbon fund of up to $500 million for investments in India, South Asia
ImpactAlpha, May 31 – Berkeley-based food waste nonprofit ReFED and New York-based Closed Loop Partners are standing up three investment vehicles as part
ImpactAlpha, May 31 — Biotech companies are promising to help farmers cut down on synthetic, and expensive, nitrogen fertilizer. San Carlos, Calif.-based Switch
ImpactAlpha, May 26 — Donnell Baird arrived at Davos this week with his partners from Brooklyn and Ithaca, where BlocPower is greening thousands
ImpactAlpha, May 25 — Somerville, Mass.-based SparkCharge has raised $23 million to expand its network of rapid electric vehicle charging stations. The company’s
ImpactAlpha, May 25 – Carbon + crypto is a hot combination. Look at the boldface names behind Flowcarbon, a startup that tokenizes certified carbon
ImpactAlpha, May 23 – It’s back. As the world’s corporate and government movers and shakers gather at Davos after a two-year pandemic pause,
More than two billion photos were taken of dinner plates in 2020, at the advent of a global pandemic. Americans have always turned
ImpactAlpha, June 7 – Lagos-based Indicina uses alternative data to gauge the credit risks of un- and underbanked people and businesses in Nigeria and
ImpactAlpha, June 3 – Just as investment in financial inclusion in Africa was really ramping up, a market downturn threatens to slow progress. Or
ImpactAlpha, June 1 – The excitement—and volume of capital—surrounding African venture capital is facing a downturn. One sector sure to feel the investor retreat:
ImpactAlpha, May 27 – Five years ago, Olu Oyinsan felt an urgent pull back to his native Nigeria while working in the early-stage practice
ImpactAlpha, May 25 – Markets have gone risk off. Savvy investors who have gone impact on are weathering the economic downturn.  Speculators in crypto,
ImpactAlpha, May 24 — Investing in the low-carbon transition of Africa requires solutions to alleviate poverty and uplift local economies as well. Chennai-based
ImpactAlpha, May 24 — San Francisco-based Partners for Growth, which specializes in private lending for growth-stage companies in emerging markets, will invest $30
ImpactAlpha, May 2 – A $100 million guarantee from the U.K. ‘s development finance institution (formerly called CDC Group) will enable Citi to boost
ImpactAlpha, May 18 — With $164 million in commitments, Michael Bloomberg’s foundation says it has helped close down more than two-thirds of coal
ImpactAlpha, May 16 – Beekeeping in Colombia. Greenhouses in Peru. Biogas stoves in Benin. Small upgrades can increase resilience to climate change for the
ImpactAlpha, May 12 – BRAC International Microfinance, the non-governmental organization’s international arm, worked with Seattle-based Global Partnerships and Proparco, the French development bank,
ImpactAlpha, May 11 — Through a partnership with IFC, Nairobi-based Equity Group will invest $80 million in equity in climate projects over five
ImpactAlpha, June 7 – Lagos-based Indicina uses alternative data to gauge the credit risks of un- and underbanked people and businesses in Nigeria and
ImpactAlpha, June 6 – Apis & Heritage last year launched a buyout fund to help small and mid-sized businesses with large Black and Brown
ImpactAlpha, Jun. 3 – Minimizing food waste. Managing emissions of food brands and ingredients. Decarbonizing fertilizers and food processors. Climate change is spurring
ImpactAlpha, Jun. 2 – Colombian startup RobinFood operates physical and virtual restaurants that make and deliver affordable, homemade food. The company deploys artificial
ImpactAlpha, June 2 – Designed for India’s microentrepreneurs and last-mile delivery agents, Revamp Moto’s electric scooters can be easily customized for different uses,
ImpactAlpha, June 1 – The excitement—and volume of capital—surrounding African venture capital is facing a downturn. One sector sure to feel the investor retreat:
ImpactAlpha, May 31 – India-based Aavishkaar Capital says it’s raising carbon fund of up to $500 million for investments in India, South Asia
ImpactAlpha, May 31 – Berkeley-based food waste nonprofit ReFED and New York-based Closed Loop Partners are standing up three investment vehicles as part
ImpactAlpha, May 26 — Roughly 57 million U.S. workers work in the gig economy, and that workforce is expected to grow to 86
ImpactAlpha, May 26 — The Catalytic Capital Consortium, or C3, formed by the MacArthur and Rockefeller foundations and Omidyar Network, aims to expand
ImpactAlpha, May 25 — Somerville, Mass.-based SparkCharge has raised $23 million to expand its network of rapid electric vehicle charging stations. The company’s
ImpactAlpha, May 25 — Singapore-based SwipeRx (formerly mClinica) has raised $27 million to build digital tools for pharmacies in Southeast Asia. Pharmacies are

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