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Jo Ann Barefoot explores how to create fair and inclusive consumer financial services through innovative ideas for industry and regulators

Episode 3 - Arjan Schutte of Core Innovation Capital on Venture Capital in FinTech

Barefoot Innovation Podcast

Episode 3 - Arjan Schutte of Core Innovation Capital on Venture Capital in FinTech

Jo Ann Barefoot


Arjan Schutte (pronounced Ar-yon Shoot-eh) is Founder and Managing Partner at Core Innovation Capital  in Los Angeles.

Core is a double-bottom line venture capital company seeding innovation that both helps consumers and wins in the marketplace, with the ability to reach huge scale.  Listeners will discover several kinds of value in his insights. 

One is an overview of the fintech innovation landscape – what are the exciting things happening?  VC firms enjoy a unique vantage point, since their funding makes nearly every innovator seek them out. They see it all.

Another insight to glean from our talk is that many of these startups are taking aim at perceived vulnerabilities of traditional financial companies – the industry’s Achilles’ heels.  Some innovators think many customers are not happy today, or at least can be lured away with a vastly better customer experience. Some believe millions of potentially high-profit customers are being neglected by the mainstream system, or are accessing it only through high-cost products that can be replaced. These startups are working on cutting delivery costs, reimagining the customer experience, using big data to invent powerful new risk analytics, using behavioral science to engage customers in new ways, empowering consumers with new tools, leveraging mobile to reach massive new markets, and much more. Many are making impressive headway. For those wanting to understand the fintech innovation realm, this is a quick primer.

Core’s companies include:


In addition, L2C has exited.

Notice the broad range of business types.  Core tries to have at least one company in each arena that’s important to consumers, from affordable lending and personal financial management to digital currency.

In our conversation, Arjan talks about the unlikely journey that brought him to this work, Core’s launch as a bold initiative of the Center for Financial Services Innovation, and the firm’s strategy.  He zeros in on the incredible opportunity around mobile services closing the “digital divide.” And he laments the minuscule impact of 40 years of well-meaning but small-scale community development lending, laying out a big vision for how to measure Core’s impact as it seeks to change the lives of millions of people. 

The key is to make it very profitable to do right by them.

Enjoy the show!

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