Are Banks the Next Dinosaurs?

Last week, I spoke at The Economist’s Buttonwood Gathering in NYC about how emerging markets (and Africa in particular) are leapfrogging innovation in the financial services sector. The most documented example of this is M-Pesa’s mobile money platform in Kenya, which I have written about a few times on this blog, including in my thesis  … Read more


Posted: July 25th 2015 10

Rethinking Impact Investing

Impact investing, venture philanthropy and social entrepreneurship are all areas in practice and theory that have been close to my heart for years. As regular readers of my blog know, I was born in Nairobi and grew up visiting the developing world in the 1980s, after my family moved to the United States. If I  … Read more


Posted: July 13th 2015 3

Modi and Ma

The last 2 weeks were notable for the world’s two most populous countries. If there was any doubt that the 21st century will be “The Asian Century” Jack Ma and Narendra Modi, an unlikely pair, lay those doubts to rest. On September 19, Ma led Alibaba to the largest IPO in history, listing the company  … Read more


Posted: July 29th 2014 1

Billion or Bust?

I  just wrote a short piece which Quartz published today.  I’m re-posting below.  Do I think we are in a valuation bubble?  I think that later stage valuations are frothy (for reasons I explain below) while earlier stage valuations are starting to stabilize from previous highs (with the exception of the superstar serial entrepreneur)  –  … Read more


Posted: July 27th 2014 None

The Supermarket Test

Today I was awoken by a symphony of birds chirping, I couldn’t make out how many but while I was sitting in a tiny restaurant garden eating lunch I counted no less than 8 different types of birds (and a couple chameleons climbing trees).  It was literally music to my ears, against a silent backdrop.   … Read more


Posted: July 21st 2009 None