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The 2015 Fintech Finance 35: Vanessa Colella, Citi Ventures

< The 2015 Fintech Finance 35 17 Vanessa Colella Global Head of Venture Investing and Strategic Growth Initiatives Citi Ventures

For Citi Ventures — the Palo Alto, California, outpost that Citigroup chief innovation officer Deborah Hopkins set up in 2010 — Vanessa Colella scans the horizon for start-ups that Citi can help nurture into meaningful, problem-solving, often disruptive technology businesses. A former biology teacher who has worked for McKinsey & Co. and Yahoo, Colella moved into Hopkins’s strategic investing unit two and a half years ago, after serving as Citi’s chief of North American marketing. The 45-year-old head of venture investing and strategic growth initiatives has been hands-on with portfolio companies, including San Francisco–based mobile payment business Square and Atlanta-based phone-fraud-prevention company Pindrop Security. Looking beyond such popular fintech themes as cryptocurrency — which she sees as “akin to early days in the Internet” — and information security, Colella observes a convergence of innovation around “democratization of access” to financial services, potentially bringing unbanked and otherwise underserved populations into the economic mainstream. “Because of the technology that’s available now, we can lower the cost of that advice or those services,” she says, adding that Square has effectively made electronic payments accessible for the first time to small retailers that traditional banks could not affordably serve. Colella says Citi seeks out collaborations that will result in “making money matters friction-free. We see hundreds of entrepreneurs who are incredibly passionate about making financial services better for people.”

  The 2015 Fintech Finance 35 Click below to view profiles
1. James Robinson III
& James Robinson IV RRE Ventures
2. Jane Gladstone Evercore Partners3. Matthew Harris Bain Capital Ventures4. Steven McLaughlin Financial Technology Partners5. Jonathan Korngold General Atlantic
6. Richard Garman &
Brad Bernstein FTV Capital
7. Amy Nauiokas & Sean Park Anthemis Group8. Thomas Jessop Goldman Sachs Group9. Meyer (Micky) Malka Ribbit Capital10. Hans Morris Nyca Partners
11. Maria Gotsch Partnership Fund for New York City12. Marc Andreessen Andreessen Horowitz13. Barry Silbert Digital Currency Group14. Jay Reinemann Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria15. Mariano Belinky Santander InnoVentures
16. François Robinet AXA Strategic Ventures17. Vanessa Colella Citi Ventures18. Alan Freudenstein & Gregory Grimaldi Credit Suisse
19. Justin Brownhill & Neil DeSena SenaHill Partners20. Rodger Voorhies Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
21. Michael Schlein Accion International22. Kenneth Marlin Marlin & Associates23. Rumi Morales CME Ventures24. Mark Beeston Illuminate Financial Management25. Vladislav Solodkiy Life.SREDA
26. Fabian Vandenreydt Innotribe SWIFT27. Derek White Barclays28. Alex Batlin UBS29. Jeffrey Greenberg
& Vincenzo
La Ruffa Aquiline Capital Partners
30. P. Howard Edelstein REDI Holdings
31. Nektarios Liolios Startupbootcamp FinTech32. Roy Bahat Bloomberg Beta33. Andrew McCormack Valar Ventures34. Lawrence Wintermeyer Innovate Finance35. Janos Barberis FinTech Hong Kong

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