Female Founders in Climate Series
An interview with Serena Fleischman, Co-Founder and Head of Growth at FLIT Invest
Next up, we interviewed Serena Fleischman of FLIT Invest, the app that makes impact investing easy for everyone. Learn about Serena’s role in improving transparency in impact investing with FLIT.
By GreenPortfolio Team
March 29, 2023
According to a 2021 report by Morgan Stanley, 99% of millennials are interested in sustainable investing. But traditional investment approaches tend to consider value over values, often failing to account for the broader consequences of investments.
Enter impact investing. Impact investing is a method of managing your money that seeks positive societal or environmental change alongside financial returns. But ensuring your money supports the causes you believe in can be a daunting task in a world of information overload and corporate greenwashing.
Serena and her team want to make financial literacy and investing for real impact easier for everyone. FLIT Invest is the first automated impact investing app where you can grow your wealth while making a positive measurable social and environmental impact. FLIT Invest allows you to put your money where your heart is by offering curated themes to invest in such as Climate Solutions, Clean Water, or Gender Equality. With FLIT, you can exclude industries you don’t agree with, such as fossil fuels, civilian firearms, or private prisons.
As Co-Founder and Head of Growth at FLIT Invest, Serena has some interesting insights into the power of invested dollars to create change in the world.
Can you tell us the story of how your company started? Where did the idea come from? And what specifically inspired you to get into fintech?
FLIT Invest started when my Co-Founder, Richard, called Alejandro, and I was shocked that his 'sustainable' investing portfolio contained companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Mcdonald's. He knew these companies weren't helping the planet, but he didn't understand why they were in his portfolio. It turns out he was a victim of greenwashing. Greenwashing is when a company uses sustainability or green labels to market their products or services, so consumers purchase them because customers genuinely want to help the planet, which is misleading and unfair.
If individuals are already making sacrifices to help our planet, why aren't companies held to the same standards? This is what drove us to start FLIT Invest! We're on a mission to make it possible for everyone to vote with their dollars and grow their wealth while making an impact with our automated impact investing app. We've built the first automated impact investing app where you can select curated themes to invest in, such as Climate Solutions or Clean Water, and exclude industries you don't agree with, such as fossil fuels or civilian firearms.
What do you want potential customers to know about your company?
I want potential customers to know we are anti-greenwashing and committed to transparency and accountability. The screening process for creating our portfolios combines the best impact measurement tools with rigorous analysis for a sustainable portfolio. When you invest with FLIT Invest, you will be able to see the impact of your investments through your impact metrics. We use industry best practices to calculate and report on your portfolio's carbon metrics, thematic metrics for each investment theme you are invested in, and UN SDG mapping. This ensures that users can see how their money grows and the measurable environmental and social impact it has.
How is your company leading the fight against climate change?
At FLIT Invest, we are leading the fight against climate change by democratizing impact investing, making it possible for everyone to make their investments sustainable. We envision a more green, just, and equitable future that requires immense progress and investments from all stakeholders. We know that systemic changes do not happen overnight, but at the current pace, it won’t happen even over decades. To accelerate our transition to a more sustainable future, we need the largest players in the economy, corporations, to play their part. However, companies won’t transition from “business as usual” without incentives.
And what better incentive is out there than money? Shifting our investments into companies that are the drivers of change rather than the ones following the status quo is a powerful tool of financial activism. By democratizing impact investing, we can drive systemic change by collectively voting with our dollars.
What has been your proudest moment in founding your company so far?
My proudest moment in founding our company was last December when we launched our app in the App Store! It was the culmination of two years of hard work, and it was a significant milestone to bring our product to market. I was so proud of our incredible team, that we were able to work together to make it happen. It was also so rewarding when we received our first positive reviews from users. Hearing from our users about how they found our app, and how they wished they knew about us sooner was such a great feeling. It made all of our hard work worth it!
Do you have any advice for girls and women who are passionate about climate change and want to make a difference?
My advice for girls and women passionate about climate change and who want to make a difference is to get involved and keep learning! You can get involved in many ways, from volunteering with local organizations or advocating for policy change to voting with your dollars. Don’t be afraid to make your voice heard and be a leader – it can inspire others to do the same, which is important because it takes a community, fighting together, to combat climate change.
What does it mean to you to be a woman in fintech?
I am extremely passionate about gender equality, so being a woman in fintech means breaking down barriers and challenging the status quo. I am in a traditionally male-dominated industry, which means using my voice and skills to create positive change. It also means being grateful to be part of a supportive community of inspiring female leaders who pave the way for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive industry.
Climate Lightning Round
And now for the Climate Lighting Round, where we rapid-fire climate-related questions at you!
Our first question is: what is your favorite climate tech or topic?
Wind, solar, hydrothermal - which are you most excited about?
What is your favorite book or written resource about climate that you wish everyone knew about?
Notable women you admire, whether present day or in history, who have played a role in climate/environmental action?
We loved hearing from you, Serena. Thanks!
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