“There is much more empathy across the globe” – Anthemis’s Vica Manos

An interview with Anthemis’s Vica Manos on how COVID-19 is accelerating innovation in digital financial services for the underserved

In episode five of VentureKast: Rebuild, Vica Manos, Partner at Anthemis, explains that the collaboration of traditional banks and fintech startups during and after COVID-19 will foster “an equilibrium that really works for consumers.” Vica shares a holistic understanding of financial wellbeing focused on resilience and explains that we must back companies that promote positive customer behavior. Although a few aspects of how Vica and Anthemis operate have changed, their ability to support entrepreneurs and their theses around digital services have only been reinforced through the pandemic. The advantages of Anthemis’ portfolio companies — like Altbank, which leverages a digital, distributed model, and Abaka, which enables digital infrastructure for financial institutions — are shining through now more than ever.

Unlike past recessions, Vica sees that the landscape for early-stage investing is burgeoning. The “data speaks for itself,” says Vica, who is proud to share that Anthemis has added eight new companies to their portfolio in the second quarter of 2020 alone. The long-term increase in demand for digital services, catalyzed by the COVID-19 crisis, has encouraged founders “to take the plunge and take the risk” to build scalable solutions to address customer challenges. In other words, says Vica, “the opportunity cost of not innovating, not inventing … has become way bigger.” Entrepreneurs are responding to this call to innovation. There will be “more opportunities that happen way faster,” says Vica, adding that, “there is much more empathy across the globe and across industries because we are all in this together this time.”

Please join our host and co-Managing Director of Venture LabVikas Raj as he interviews industry leaders every Thursday about how COVID-19 is impacting their work.

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