Sustainable finance
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SC Ventures Backs Algbra and Sustainable Financing With Latest Investment

Standard Chartered’s innovation, fintech investment and ventures arm, SC Ventures, has strategically invested in Algbra, an ethical finance-focused and sharia-compliant UK-based fintech. The move will also see Shoal, SC Ventures’ sustainable finance platform, partner with Algbra.

Demand for sustainable and ethical finance continues to grow, with consumers seeking offerings to align their money with their personal ethics and values. Around 74 per cent of retail finance customers want their savings to have a positive impact on the planet; while 52 per cent would switch providers if they could see how their money is being invested.

An Islamic Finance Council UK survey conducted in 2023 found that for 90 per cent of respondents, it was important that their bank provided products that aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Gurdeep Singh Kohli, SC Ventures lead for Europe and Americas, commented: “SC Ventures and Standard Chartered are committed to sustainable financing. We build ventures with our clients in mind, which resulted in Shoal. Combining the proposition with Algbra will enhance the customer proposition in the UK and our investment will accelerate the delivery of Algbra’s Fintech-as-a-Service solution globally.”

Driving progress in sustainable financing

Founded by Zeiad Idris and Fizel Nejabat, Algbra is the first Sharia-compliant and B-Corp-certified fintech authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Electronic Money Institution. Algbra’s UK B2C proposition was named the ‘Best ESG Initiative in Payments’ at the Pay360 Awards. The award recognised Algbra’s impact solutions, such as carbon tracking and offsetting, financial wellbeing tools and its donations platform.

Idris also discussed his enthusiasm about the partnership: “I am thrilled for Algbra to be partnering with SC Ventures and Shoal. What is most exciting about this is the deep purpose-alignment of our companies to do good, and our commitment to go beyond the UK to serve communities in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. I look forward to what more we can achieve together in our common quest to drive commerce and prosperity.”

There are strong synergies in the Shoal and Algbra offerings and across target markets. Incubated by SC Ventures, Shoal is a B-Corp certified sustainable finance platform that enables retail customers to reach their financial goals, while supporting sustainable development and the fight against climate change. Shoal will leverage Algbra’s technology capabilities to distribute its products to UK retail customers whilst Algbra will also incorporate Shoal as part of its ESG-centric B2B solutions globally.

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