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Standard Chartered invests in Algbra for digital banking venture

Algbra is a financial management platform that distinguishes its offering by advising users against “unethical or high-risk” investments.

  • Rachael Kennedy
  • April 16, 2024
  • 5 minutes

SC Ventures, the fintech investment and ventures arm of Standard Chartered, has made a strategic investment in Algbra, a UK-based fintech company.

This partnership aims to enhance SC Ventures’ sustainable finance platform, Shoal, and expand Algbra’s reach as an ethical and Sharia-compliant technology platform.

Algbra has carved a niche for itself as the first Sharia-compliant and B-Corp certified fintech to be authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an Electronic Money Institution. The company’s commitment to ethical finance is further strengthened by its recent achievement of B Corp status, a testament to its high Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards.

Algbra’s mission is to create a more equitable and sustainable society by providing impact-driven financial technology solutions. Its proprietary technology, developed in-house by a team of engineers, offers a turnkey digital banking solution that can be deployed globally.

This technology enables banks and non-banking financial institutions to provide accessible mobile digital banking services to underserved populations across the emerging world.

SC Ventures’ Strategic Investment: Accelerating Sustainable Finance

SC Ventures’ investment in Algbra signifies their commitment to sustainable financing. This partnership allows Shoal, SC Ventures’ sustainable finance platform, to leverage Algbra’s technology capabilities and expand its product offerings to UK retail customers. Additionally, Algbra will incorporate Shoal as part of its ESG-centric Business-to-Business (B2B) solutions on a global scale.

The investment amount remains undisclosed; however, industry sources suggest that it is estimated to be at least $10 million. This significant investment highlights the growing trend of collaboration between fintechs and major banks, emphasizing the importance of alliances in driving innovation and promoting sustainable finance.

Ethical and Sustainable Banking Solutions by Algbra

Algbra’s finance app provides customers with a comprehensive range of banking services while prioritizing ethics, sustainability, and quality of service. The app offers standard features such as analytics, Apple/Google Pay, and transfers.

Additionally, Algbra stands out by offering market-leading 1.5% cashback on all card spending and incorporating impact solutions, including carbon tracking and offsetting, financial wellbeing tools, investments, lending, and a donations platform.

One of the key advantages of Algbra’s offering is its commitment to ethical investments. None of the customers’ funds are invested in environmentally or socially damaging industries, ensuring that customers’ finances align with their values.

Algbra’s commitment to social impact is further exemplified by its pledge to donate 10% of its profits through its charitable foundation, Algbra X, empowering overlooked communities and actively promoting financial wellbeing.

Algbra and Shoal: A Synergistic Partnership

Shoal, SC Ventures’ sustainable finance platform, was initially planned to be built in partnership with Starling Bank. However, with the strategic investment in Algbra, the platform will now leverage Algbra’s technology to deliver its products and services. This collaboration brings together Algbra’s expertise in ethical finance and Shoal’s commitment to sustainable banking, creating a powerful synergy to drive positive change in the financial sector.

The partnership between Algbra and Shoal enables users to monitor their purchases and investments using ESG and Sharia-compliant metrics. By combining their strengths, both companies aim to provide customers with a seamless banking experience that aligns with their values and promotes sustainable finance.

The Significance of B Corp Certification

Algbra’s recent achievement of B Corp status sets it apart as a financial institution dedicated to making a positive impact on society and the environment. This certification is granted by B Lab, a nonprofit organization that evaluates companies based on their social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

To obtain B Corp certification, Algbra had to undergo a rigorous certification process, scoring significantly higher than the minimum requirement of 80 points. This recognition further solidifies Algbra’s commitment to its global ESG mission and its goal of reaching the 1.7 billion financially excluded individuals worldwide through impactful financial technology solutions.

The Future of Ethical and Sustainable Finance

The strategic investment by SC Ventures in Algbra and the partnership between Shoal and Algbra underscore the growing demand for ethical and sustainable banking solutions. Customers are increasingly seeking financial institutions that align with their values and prioritize sustainability.

The collaboration between a major bank like Standard Chartered and an innovative fintech like Algbra highlights the potential for traditional financial institutions to drive positive change in the industry. By leveraging Algbra’s technology and expertise, SC Ventures aims to enhance its sustainable finance platform and deliver impactful solutions to its customers.

Conclusion: Advancing Sustainable Finance Together

SC Ventures’ strategic investment in Algbra marks a significant step towards promoting sustainable finance and ethical banking. This partnership brings together the expertise of both companies to create innovative solutions for customers seeking financial services that align with their values.

Algbra’s dedication to ethical finance, combined with SC Ventures’ commitment to sustainable financing, sets the stage for future collaborations that drive positive change in the financial sector. As the demand for ethical and sustainable banking solutions continues to grow, partnerships like this will play a vital role in shaping the future of finance.

Through this investment, SC Ventures and Algbra are poised to contribute to the advancement of sustainable finance, making a meaningful impact on society and the environment. Together, they are paving the way for a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable financial ecosystem.