SC Ventures makes strategic investment in Algbra, establishes partnership with its UK sustainable finance platform Shoal

SC Ventures, Standard Chartered’s innovation, fintech investment and ventures arm, has announced a strategic investment in Algbra, an ethical finance focused and sharia-compliant UK-based fintech. As part of the agreement, Shoal, SC Ventures’ sustainable finance platform, will partner with Algbra. The terms of the deal are undisclosed.

Demand for sustainable and ethical finance continues to grow, with consumers seeking offerings to align their money with their personal ethics and values. According to research, 74% of retail finance customers want their savings to have a positive impact on the planet and 52% 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% of respondents it was important that their bank provided products that aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

“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 (FaaS) solution globally,” said Gurdeep Singh Kohli, SC Ventures lead for Europe and Americas.

Algbra, founded by Zeiad Idris and Fizel Nejabat, is the first sharia-compliant and B-Corp certified fintech to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Electronic Money Institution. Algbra offers its full-stack proprietary technology internationally as a turnkey digital banking solution. 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.

“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,” said Zeiad Idris, CEO, Algbra. “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 allows 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 incorporate Shoal as part of its ESG-centric B2B solutions globally.

Joan Medland and Tom Mason, Co-Founders of Shoal, added: “We founded Shoal with a simple goal, to enable people to grow their money in a manner that benefited the world without compromising their values. We are very excited for the impact of this partnership with Algbra given our shared vision.”

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