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The 2016 Fintech Finance 35: Oskar Miel

35. Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel, Managing Partner, Rakuten FinTech Fund

35. Oskar Mielczarek de la Miel
Managing Partner
Rakuten FinTech Fund

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 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

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
25. Vladislav Solodkiy
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
Hong Kong
33. Jalak Jobanputra
Future Perfect Ventures
34. Sopnendu Mohanty
Monetary Authority of Singapore
35. Oskar Mielczarek
de la Miel
FinTech Fund

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