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The 2016 Fintech Finance 35: Oskar Miel

< Fintech's Most Powerful Dealmakers of 201635. Oskar Mielczarek de la MielManaging PartnerRakuten FinTech FundPNR

In November 2015, e-commerce giant Rakuten made a seemingly sudden leap into fintech financing, launching a dedicated $100 million fund. The Tokyo-based company, which has a financial services business but is better known as an Amazon.com-like retailer, was no stranger to strategic venture capital investing, however. Two years earlier it had formed Rakuten Ventures, whose portfolio includes algorithm marketplace Algorithmia and file-sharing service Send Anywhere; in July it doubled the size of its Global Investment Fund, to $200 million. (The unit also manages a ¥10 billion [$96 million] Japan Fund.) Headed by managing partner Oskar Miel, a Harvard MBA and former JPMorgan Chase & Co. banker who has been with the Rakuten organization since 2013, the Rakuten FinTech Fund in May led a $15 million investment round in U.K. remittances start-up Azimo. Other holdings include U.S. companies BlueVine Capital (invoice factoring), Insikt (loan originating and investing), and WePay (small-business and crowdfunding payments); U.K.-based global payments servicer Currencycloud; and Bitnet Technologies, a Bitcoin payment processor that Rakuten acquired in August and made the nucleus of a blockchain lab it set up in Belfast. Blockchain and distributed ledger are in their infancy, Miel says, but “once consensus and adaptability are achieved among participants, they will reduce the cost of transaction processing and enable more efficiency across the banking, payments, insurance, and asset management industries.” He also observes that “the finance industry has traditionally required a lot of sector-specific knowledge, but we are recently seeing a new generation of outsiders bringing disruptive and innovative approaches to how the industry operates. This is effectively changing the landscape and spurring new competition that will no doubt bring about qualitative change in the way the financial industry operates.”


 The 2016 Fintech Finance 35 Click below to view profiles
1. Jonathan KorngoldGeneral Atlantic2. Matthew HarrisBain Capital Ventures3. Jane GladstoneEvercore Partners4. James Robinson III & James
Robinson IV
RRE Ventures5. Steven McLaughlinFinancial Technology Partners6. Amy Nauiokas & Sean ParkAnthemis Group
7. Richard Garman &
Brad Bernstein
FTV Capital8. Gerard
von Dohlen
Broadhaven Capital Partners9. Darren CohenGoldman Sachs Group10. Hans MorrisNyca Partners11. Meyer (Micky) MalkaRibbit Capital12. Maria GotschPartnership Fund for New York City
13. Barry SilbertDigital Currency Group14. Jay ReinemannPropel Venture Partners15. Mariano BelinkySantander InnoVentures16. Justin Brownhill & Neil DeSenaSenaHill Partners17. François RobinetAXA Strategic Ventures18. Vanessa ColellaCiti Ventures
19. Michael SchleinAccion International20. Kenneth MarlinMarlin & Associates21. Rumi MoralesCME Ventures22. Alastair (Alex) RampellAndreessen Horowitz23. Steve GibsonEuclid Opportunities24. Fabian VandenreydtSWIFT
25. Vladislav SolodkiyLife.SREDA26. Gardiner Garrard IIITTV Capital27. Nektarios LioliosStartupbootcamp Fintech28. Lawrence WintermeyerInnovate Finance29. Bina KalolaBank of America Merrill Lynch30. Hyder JaffreyFintech Innovation
31. Calvin ChoiAMTD Group32. Janos BarberisFinTech
Hong Kong33. Jalak JobanputraFuture Perfect Ventures34. Sopnendu MohantyMonetary Authority of Singapore35. Oskar Mielczarek
de la Miel
Rakuten
FinTech Fund