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The 2016 Fintech Finance 35: Vanessa Colella

No. 18

  • By Peter Vasiliev

18. Vanessa Colella
Global Head of Venture Investing and Strategic Growth Initiatives
Citi Ventures
Last year: 17

Long regarded as a megatrend by Citi Ventures, democratization — broader and easier access to financial services — is bearing fruit as an investment theme, says Vanessa Colella, global head of venture investing and strategic growth initiatives for Citigroup’s technology accelerator and fintech fund. With technology increasingly economical and accessible to new markets and underserved populations, “there is a much higher degree of trust, and therefore acceptance, by consumers and small-business owners,” says Colella, 46, a onetime biology teacher who worked at McKinsey & Co., Yahoo!, and Citi’s North American consumer bank before joining Citi Ventures in 2013. “They’re getting accustomed to interacting with highly bespoke financial services in a much more automated way.” Portfolio companies of Palo Alto, California–based Citi Ventures, which was started in 2010 by its CEO, Citigroup chief innovation officer Deborah Hopkins, reflect democratization trends; they include online wealth management pioneer Betterment, mobile payments company Square, and brokerage app developer Trade It. BlueVine Capital provides business lines of credit and invoice factoring, C2FO addresses working capital needs, and a recent portfolio addition, FastPay Partners, finances receivables for digital enterprises. “We’re looking at this specific sector of payment and at how to use some of these tools to bring capital management to companies that ordinarily would not have been large enough to access those kinds of sophisticated tools,” Colella says. Noting that many traditionally integrated banking services disaggregated, or “unbundled,” after the global financial crisis, she is anticipating a swing back to “rebundling” and eyeing potential winners as that unfolds. Among those Colella sees as well positioned are money transmitter TransferWise and Berlin-based bank Number26.


The 2016 Fintech Finance 35

1. Jonathan Korngold
General Atlantic
2. Matthew Harris
Bain Capital Ventures
3. Jane Gladstone
Evercore Partners
4. James Robinson III & James
Robinson IV
RRE Ventures
5. Steven McLaughlin
Financial Technology Partners
6. Amy Nauiokas & Sean Park
Anthemis Group
7. Richard Garman &
Brad Bernstein
FTV Capital
8. Gerard
von Dohlen
Broadhaven Capital Partners
9. Darren Cohen
Goldman Sachs Group
10. Hans Morris
Nyca Partners
11. Meyer (Micky) Malka
Ribbit Capital
12. Maria Gotsch
Partnership Fund for New York City
13. Barry Silbert
Digital Currency Group
14. Jay Reinemann
Propel Venture Partners
15. Mariano Belinky
Santander InnoVentures
16. Justin Brownhill & Neil DeSena
SenaHill Partners
17. François Robinet
AXA Strategic Ventures
18. Vanessa Colella
Citi Ventures
19. Michael Schlein
Accion International
20. Kenneth Marlin
Marlin & Associates
21. Rumi Morales
CME Ventures
22. Alastair (Alex) Rampell
Andreessen Horowitz
23. Steve Gibson
Euclid Opportunities
24. Fabian Vandenreydt
SWIFT
25. Vladislav Solodkiy
Life.SREDA
26. Gardiner Garrard III
TTV Capital
27. Nektarios Liolios
Startupbootcamp Fintech
28. Lawrence Wintermeyer
Innovate Finance
29. Bina Kalola
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
30. Hyder Jaffrey
Fintech Innovation
31. Calvin Choi
AMTD Group
32. Janos Barberis
FinTech
Hong Kong
33. Jalak Jobanputra
Future Perfect Ventures
34. Sopnendu Mohanty
Monetary Authority of Singapore
35. Oskar Mielczarek
de la Miel
Rakuten
FinTech Fund

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