After roughly two decades in and around the venture capital business and participating in more than 80 transactions, Jalak Jobanputra has a good feel for cycles. In the recent slowdown she sees a rationalization of the market from before, when too many ideas got funded, and that amounts to a refreshing period for venture capital. Jobanputra, 44, is the founding partner of Future Perfect Ventures, a New Yorkbased firm with a financial-inclusion and social-impact bent and a portfolio that includes several cryptocurrency and blockchain companies, which she believes hold a key to improved efficiency and transparency in financial services. One of her first investments after founding FPV in 2014 was in a $30 million Series A round for Blockchain Luxembourg, a hub for Bitcoin news and information that includes a continuous view of the blockchain. Among the investments that followed: digital wallet and remittance servicer Abra, African blockchain-powered payment system BitPesa, and Fusemachines, a developer of sales and customer service systems based on machine learning and natural-language processing. Born to Indian parents in Nairobi, Kenya, Jobanputra was five when her family moved to New Jersey and spent her formative years attending the School of American Ballet, the feeder school of the New York City Ballet. By her midteens, after an accumulation of physical injuries, she decided that pro dancing was not in the cards. An English major at the University of Pennsylvania, she took a Wharton School economics course on a dare from her freshman dorm mates. Four years later she graduated with a bachelors degree in finance from Wharton and another in communications from the Annenberg School for Communication; in 1999 she earned an MBA from Northwestern Universitys Kellogg School of Management. Since 1999 she has worked at Intel Capital in Silicon Valley; at New Venture Partners, investing in technologies coming out of corporate labs; and at the New York City Investment Fund, now the Partnership Fund for New York City, where she helped launch the FinTech Innovation Lab (see Maria Gotsch, No. 12). Just before starting FPV, Jobanputra was director of mobile investments at Omidyar Network, a philanthropic-oriented investment firm co-created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.
The 2016 Fintech Finance 35 Click below to view profiles