Founded Year

2012

Stage

Series C | Alive

Total Raised

$133.55M

Last Raised

$100M | 2 yrs ago

About PayActiv

PayActiv is a holistic financial wellness platform for employees to get on-demand access to earned but unpaid wages. The company also offers a suite of services that include banking products, savings and budgeting tools, bill payment and financial health measurement.

PayActiv Headquarter Location

4300 Stevens Creek Blvd. Suite 102

San Jose, California, 95129,

United States

+(877) 910-8400

PayActiv's Product Videos

ESPs containing PayActiv

The ESP matrix leverages data and analyst insight to identify and rank leading companies in a given technology landscape.

EXECUTION STRENGTHMARKET STRENGTHLEADERHIGHFLIEROUTPERFORMERCHALLENGER
Consumer & Retail / Retail Tech

These platforms allow workers to access accrued wages before payday. Some companies do this for free, while others charge the worker a small fee that can be deducted from their next paycheck. The fee is typically far more affordable than a high-interest payday loan. Many of these tools are also beginning to incorporate related financial wellness features, such as budgeting tools and educational fi…

PayActiv named as Leader among 13 other companies, including DailyPay, Branch, and Wagestream.

Predict your next investment

The CB Insights tech market intelligence platform analyzes millions of data points on venture capital, startups, patents , partnerships and news mentions to help you see tomorrow's opportunities, today.

PayActiv's Products & Differentiation

See PayActiv's products and how their products differentiate from alternatives and competitors

  • Lively App

    All-in-one financial wellness app for low-income workers

    Differentiation

    Access on-demand pay, a digital wallet, and a suite of free financial wellness tools. 

Expert Collections containing PayActiv

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

PayActiv is included in 9 Expert Collections, including HR Tech.

H

HR Tech

4,016 items

HR tech startups are helping companies manage critical pain points in HR processes such as recruitment, automation, career development, compensation, and benefits management, through a mix of software and services.

D

Digital Lending

1,603 items

This collection contains companies that provide alternative means for obtaining a loan for personal or business use and companies that provide software to lenders for the application, underwriting, funding or loan collection process.

S

SMB Fintech

1,499 items

G

Gig Economy Value Chain

155 items

Startups in this collection are leveraging technology to provide financial services and HR offerings to the gig economy industry

P

Payments

2,323 items

Companies and startups in this collection enable consumers, businesses, and governments to pay each other - online and at the physical point-of-sale.

F

Financial Wellness

245 items

Track startups and capture company information and workflow.

PayActiv Patents

PayActiv has filed 5 patents.

The 3 most popular patent topics include:

  • Banking
  • Credit
  • Loans
patents chart

Application Date

Grant Date

Title

Related Topics

Status

9/6/2016

6/11/2019

Financial regulation, Geolocation, Architectural elements, Computer network security, Wireless networking

Grant

Application Date

9/6/2016

Grant Date

6/11/2019

Title

Related Topics

Financial regulation, Geolocation, Architectural elements, Computer network security, Wireless networking

Status

Grant

Latest PayActiv News

A CFTC commissioner says getting crypto right is critical to the US

Jul 26, 2022

PROTOCOL SOURCE CODE Want your finger on the pulse of everything that's happening in tech? Sign up to get Protocol's daily newsletter. Email Address Source Code Thank you for signing up. Please check your inbox to verify your email. Email me an authentication link A login link has been emailed to you - please check your inbox. Benjamin Pimentel ( @benpimentel ) covers crypto and fintech from San Francisco. He has reported on many of the biggest tech stories over the past 20 years for the San Francisco Chronicle, Dow Jones MarketWatch and Business Insider, from the dot-com crash, the rise of cloud computing, social networking and AI to the impact of the Great Recession and the COVID crisis on Silicon Valley and beyond. He can be reached at bpimentel@protocol.com or via Google Voice at (925) 307-9342. Sono Motors revealed its production design for a passenger vehicle outfitted with a solar kit. It's slated to get the vehicles to customers starting next year. “Basically every moving object can be equipped with that solar technology,” said Sono co-founder and CEO Jona Christians (right, with co-founder and CEO Laurin Hahn). Photo: Sono Motors Lisa Martine Jenkins is a senior reporter at Protocol covering climate. Lisa previously wrote for Morning Consult, Chemical Watch and the Associated Press. Lisa is currently based in Brooklyn, and is originally from the Bay Area. Find her on Twitter ( @l_m_j_ ) or reach out via email (ljenkins@protocol.com). July 25, 2022 Solar-powered electric vehicles are one step closer to reality. On Monday, solar EV company Sono Motors released the production design for its passenger car, dubbed the Sion, as well as for its “solar bus kit” designed for public transportation fleets across Europe. “Basically every moving object can be equipped with that solar technology,” Sono co-founder and CEO Jona Christians told Protocol, including buses, trucks, trains and even ships. The four-door Sion is a simple electric hatchback that’s compact but still spacious by European standards. What sets it apart from other EVs are the solar panels set into the body of the car on all sides. These will allow the Sion to generate its own electricity, which can add up to roughly 150 miles of range per week to the regular battery and create “full self-sufficiency on short distances,” per the Sono website . The Sion's solar panels will allow the vehicle to generate its own electricity, adding up to about 150 miles of range per week to the regular battery. Photo: Sono Motors Over the past five years, Sono developed the technology to do more than just slap some solar panels on the roof of the Sion. “We had to develop a completely new technology and get experts from the automotive sector and from the solar sector and let them sit together,” Christians said. “Because these were two separate industries, and they did not talk with each other so much. And so we had to have … the experts sit together and bring up solutions that are automotive-grade and made to be really durable and sustainable.” Sono left behind the fragile and heavy glass encasements that solar panels typically rely on in favor of monocrystalline silicon cells protected by a layer of polymer, integrated into the body of the car itself. The polymer is shatterproof and provides extra protection for the cells in the case of collision. Sono signed a binding contract with Finnish manufacturer Valmet Automotive in April and already has at least 19,000 pre-order customers, all of whom have already paid a down payment of roughly 2,000 euros (though these payments are refundable once the car is available). While the Sion is Sono’s flagship, it represents just the first of Sono’s two pillars. The company’s solar bus kit is the tip of the potentially fruitful iceberg of licensing its technology to other, non-Sono vehicle makers. Christians said the company’s focus is divided “fifty-fifty” between these two priorities, as both have huge potential for growth. Sono co-founder Jona Christians said the company’s focus is divided “fifty-fifty” between its passenger vehicle and a solar bus kit. Photo: Sono Motors “In Europe alone, there are 80,000 buses driving around, and all of these buses have the potential to integrate solar,” Christians said, pointing out that just a few manufacturers make the vast majority of Europe’s fleet. Sono adapted its bus kit to fit the most common models. While the buses are primarily diesel-powered, the addition of the solar panels can generate enough power to run the buses’ auxiliary systems, such as lights, heating and cooling. Sono estimates that the systems save nearly 400 gallons of diesel per bus per year. The company is also in talks with other automakers to share its technology. “We don’t want to simply keep it for ourselves,” Christians said. “There is a bigger problem, and that’s climate change.” For the time being, Sono is focused on the European market, though it has seen interest from other markets. Of its 19 unnamed B2B partners, Sono already has one in the U.S. applying Sono solar technology to its own vehicles. Sono’s model brings together two emerging trends as the world looks to address climate change: The price of solar technology has fallen even as efficiency has improved, while at the same time, the public is clamoring for EVs . Of course, Sono is also emerging right as the supply chain of critical minerals needed for both batteries and solar tech is in serious trouble, something Christians acknowledged has had an impact. He expressed optimism at the company’s path ahead, though. “Because production will start next year, we are still able to adapt and change to make sure we have all materials in place,” he said. Sono has suffered major production delays in the past — its first round of pre-orders was set for delivery in 2019 — which have cost the company, at the very least reputationally. Sono went public in November 2021, which brought the influx of cash it needed to get to this production design step. The Sion is set for delivery in early 2023. Keep ReadingShow less July 25, 2022 James Daly has a deep knowledge of creating brand voice identity, including understanding various audiences and targeting messaging accordingly. He enjoys commissioning, editing, writing, and business development, particularly in launching new ventures and building passionate audiences. Daly has led teams large and small to multiple awards and quantifiable success through a strategy built on teamwork, passion, fact-checking, intelligence, analytics, and audience growth while meeting budget goals and production deadlines in fast-paced environments. Daly is the Editorial Director of 2030 Media and a contributor at Wired. July 18, 2022 The global shortage of semiconductors has impeded the production of everything from pickup trucks to PlayStations. But there are graver implications than a scarcity of consumer goods. If the U.S. does not ensure continued domestic access to leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing, experts say our national security could suffer. Powerful semiconductors, often called chips, are integral for everyday products from modern refrigerators to medical devices like pacemakers. They also are a necessary component of high-tech weaponry and secure communication systems that are key to America's defense. “Semiconductors are the backbone of our military infrastructure and incredibly intertwined with our defense systems,” said Rob Atkinson, founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. “They’re used to power crucial functions like advanced aircraft, AI, autonomous systems, next-generation computing, and our secure communications.” Chips are in short supply due to several colliding factors, including spikes in demand for electronic products and supply chain difficulties during the pandemic. In recent decades foreign governments have increasingly incentivized chip production while the U.S. government sat on the sidelines, creating a vulnerable reliance on foreign manufacturers. Today, only 2% of global memory is manufactured in the U.S., and all of that is produced by Micron Technology. Eighty-five percent of the world’s $555.9 billion chip market is made in just three countries with low-cost manufacturing facilities: China, South Korea, and Taiwan. “That’s a dangerous imbalance,” said Atkinson. “Why should the U.S. risk this level of foreign dependence on something as essential as microchips?” Any disruption from suppliers could severely limit America’s ability to build and maintain secure critical infrastructure and advanced defense systems. “Almost every electronic device and system depends on semiconductor memory,” said Sumit Sadana, Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer at Micron. “A weak, easily disrupted supply chain creates far-reaching consequences to our economy and national security.” But that’s exactly what has happened, and it could get worse. Foreign governments are ramping up spending on semiconductor R&D and accelerating their manufacturing advantage. Chief among them is China, which increased its overall semiconductor output by 33% in 2021. Since 1979, China has used hefty state investments in infrastructure, education, and research, along with technology acquisitions and supportive business policies, to produce incredible economic growth. China’s State Council has set the goal of becoming a global leader in all segments of the semiconductor industry by 2030. Any major supply chain disruption or intentional blockage could severely limit the U.S.’s ability to build and maintain secure critical infrastructure and advanced defense systems. “Simply catching up to China is not sufficient,” said Jamil Jaffer, executive director of the National Security Institute as well as an Assistant Professor of Law at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. “We need American labs and American companies to develop the next generation of chips. We need to build here and then get ahead. That's going to cost money, time and effort.” CHIPS and credits To ensure American security, prosperity and technological leadership, industry leaders say the U.S. must encourage domestic manufacturing of chips in order to reduce our reliance on East Asia producers for crucial electronics components. Leading-edge memory production requires such ongoing government support “to create and sustain an environment that will enable ambitious expansion of memory and storage manufacturing capabilities in the U.S.,” said Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra. Some advances are being made. In October, the Department of Defense awarded more than $197 million to strengthen the American microelectronics industrial base and help create state-of-the-art facilities to design and build at scale. Through the Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes (RAMP) plans, the DoD hopes to create a reliable and resilient domestic source of chips for its artificial intelligence, 5G communications, quantum computing, and autonomous vehicle needs. Congress is also trying to incentivize investment in the U.S. semiconductor industry through direct funding and an investment tax credit. The Senate passed the bipartisan U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, which includes $52 billion in funding for chips, last summer. The House passed its version of the legislation — the CHIPS (Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors) for America Act — in February, but the two chambers have yet to agree on a compromise bill. The CHIPS Act and Investment Tax Credit will help level the playing field for domestic manufacturers and bring many high-paying advanced manufacturing jobs to the U.S. “An American semiconductor manufacturing industry will produce tens of thousands of jobs, high-skilled jobs,” Mehrotra said. “If we don't get this legislation across the finish line, then these jobs will go overseas.” Micron’s Executive Vice President of Global Operations Manish Bhatia testified before the House Science Committee in December 2021, highlighting the 35-45% cost delta that building and operating a fab in America incurs over lower-cost markets, mainly in Asia. “‘The gap that we have with Asia was not created overnight, it was created over the last 20 years. And while action in the U.S. continues to stall, the rest of the world is moving forward aggressively. The gap is getting bigger, not closing.” “We must get this done now.” That transition to building a competitive U.S. semiconductor industry is underway. In June, TSMC started construction at a site in Arizona where it plans to spend $12 billion to build a computer chip factory. The factory remains on track to start volume production of chips using the company's 5-nanometer production technology starting in 2024. In addition, Micron is investing more than $150 billion over the next decade in leading-edge memory manufacturing and R&D. Experts say that chip shortages are likely to remain into 2024. In the meantime, U,S, technological strength in this area can be reinforced by investing more in basic science and government research at home. And legislation is key. In the coming weeks before their August recess, U.S. lawmakers are expected to reconcile various versions of legislation that include the CHIPS Act into final form. This is an important part of the multi-step process to turn proposed legislation into law. Industry leaders say that Congress needs to get the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk quickly. “We must get this done now,” said Mehrotra. “We must have a secure a supply chain here to address national security considerations. We need to get CHIPS and an investment tax credits measure across the finish line.” Congress' delay in passing these measures could jeopardize a key industry at a critical time. Noted Atkinson: “A failure to support domestic semiconductor manufacturing would place national security at significant risk. This may be the only opportunity we have to turn the situation around and make sure the U.S. has a viable semiconductor industry going forward.” Keep ReadingShow less Veronica Irwin (@vronirwin) is a San Francisco-based reporter at Protocol covering fintech. Previously she was at the San Francisco Examiner, covering tech from a hyper-local angle. Before that, her byline was featured in SF Weekly, The Nation, Techworker, Ms. Magazine and The Frisc. July 25, 2022 Federal and state regulators are taking a closer look at how to regulate a fast-growing fintech field that connects workers with advances on their earnings. So-called earned wage access products allow employees to obtain pay they have earned ahead of their regular payday. As the industry has grown, there has been an ongoing debate about whether the products should be considered extensions of credit, such as a loan, requiring standard disclosures and other protections. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has signaled its interest. Tucked away in a recent announcement revoking a sandbox letter for EWA provider Payactiv was a warning that the agency might soon step in to provide more explicit edicts. "The CFPB has received requests for clarification regarding its advisory opinion on 'earned wage access' products," the agency said in a June 30 release . "The CFPB plans to issue further guidance soon to provide greater clarity concerning the application of the definition of 'credit' under the Truth in Lending Act and Regulation Z." A borrower or a lender? The termination of Payactiv's sandbox letter, which gave the company regulatory protection from key lending rules, came at the company's request. The firm said it wanted to make changes to its business strategy without incurring a lengthy review from the CFPB, though the CFPB had already told Payactiv it was considering terminating the letter as a result of public statements from the company “wrongly suggesting a CFPB endorsement.” A press release and a couple of blog posts by Payactiv referencing the CFPB now return errors or redirect to Payactiv’s homepage. Aside from that dust-up, the line about greater clarity captured the attention of consumer advocates, who have been pushing for changes to a Trump-era advisory opinion that stated that EWA products are not loans or credit if they meet certain criteria, including that no fee is charged. "Clearly, more is coming from the CFPB," said Lauren Saunders, associate director at the National Consumer Law Center, which believes generally that earned wage access products should be regulated as loans. Consumer groups such as the NCLC have warned about the products potentially harming users by “adding extra fees in people’s budget every few weeks for no additional liquidity,” Saunders said. Industry officials say the products are a cheaper alternative to payday loans for customers in a cash crunch. Earned wage access "encourages competition, which I think everyone wants from the industry side and the agency side," said Brian Tate, president of the Innovative Payments Association, which represents some EWA providers. Some employers see faster pay options as a recruitment tool. Earned wage products are growing quickly. The research firm Aite-Novarica Group estimated that industry providers moved about $9.5 billion in pay in 2020. While the firm has not released updated figures, the number has grown significantly since then, according to Francisco Alvarez-Evangelista, an adviser with Aite-Novarica. "The fact that pay has been constricted to only a couple of dozen times a year for decades has created this opportunity for financial technology providers to help solve some of those gaps," Alvarez-Evangelista said. The CFPB has provided only limited guidance on how to classify the products through a November 2020 advisory opinion . The opinion stated that employer-based earned wage access programs do not qualify as loans or credit so long as the “employee makes no payment, voluntary or otherwise, to access EWA funds,” among other criteria. Before that, then-CFPB Director Richard Cordray exempted employer-based earned wage access products from a 2016 rule on payday loans. Consumer groups asked the CFPB to review the 2020 advisory last fall, saying that its definition of credit under the Truth in Lending Act could be used to justify classifying a wider range of EWA products as non-loans, including in states considering their own laws. Advocates fear that the fees of earned wage access could add up quickly for frequent users and therefore the same guardrails that govern most loans are needed. “If we accept the argument that these are not loans, those fees may go up once they have solid exemptions from lending laws," Saunders said. A question of who’s paying The total fees that users pay on average are difficult to compare without mandated data reporting. But researchers from the University of Houston Law Center wrote in a 2020 analysis of some fee models that “if employees are choosing between a payday loan that will cost $45 in fees and an earned wage access product that will cost $5, it appears an easy choice.” “With some payday loans, you do the math, and you end up with a 360%, 400% APR — that’s what we’re trying to avoid,” said Nico Simko, co-founder of the on-demand payment startup Clair. “The purpose of regulation is to do what’s best for consumers, so regulators need to be sure, are we fighting the right guys here?” Part of the challenge in setting rules is that business models in the industry vary significantly. Some partner with employers, with those businesses in some instances paying fees, while others offer an advance directly to workers. The CFPB’s previous guidance has focused on employer-based programs. But MoneyLion, which markets an early-access product to consumers, said it would encourage the CFPB to take a “business-model-agnostic approach” said Matthew Kellogg, VP of government affairs and communications. The company says that a direct-to-consumer model like its own allows it to serve workers excluded from services that go through employers, like some independent contractors . The company also feels “strongly that there should be a free pathway for the products.” Firms that partner with employers, however, believe they offer a more straightforward regulatory case. “Employer-integrated services have several levels of built-in consumer protections, and services without those protections can pose different and more difficult policy and regulatory issues," said Matt Kopko, vice president of public policy at DailyPay. The Golden State standard Donna Goodison ( @dgoodison ) is Protocol's senior reporter focusing on enterprise infrastructure technology, from the 'Big 3' cloud computing providers to data centers. She previously covered the public cloud at CRN after 15 years as a business reporter for the Boston Herald. Based in Massachusetts, she also has worked as a Boston Globe freelancer, business reporter at the Boston Business Journal and real estate reporter at Banker & Tradesman after toiling at weekly newspapers. July 25, 2022 As AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud work toward their carbon-free and net zero carbon emissions goals, they’re also helping their customers understand their own cloud-related carbon footprints and take steps to reduce their impacts. All three have released tools that, in varying degrees, measure estimated carbon emissions tied to individual customers’ cloud infrastructure and services usage and help them work more sustainably. Enterprises can use those tools to make and track progress toward their carbon-reduction targets and meet environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) reporting requirements. Cloud providers’ data centers are energy-intensive, and the electricity used to run them generates greenhouse gas emissions: primarily carbon dioxide, which is tied to global warming. “Consumers, employees, investors and policymakers are demanding that organizations prioritize sustainability and be transparent about the impact they're having on the environment and the progress they're making on their sustainability initiatives,” Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said during the cloud provider’s inaugural Sustainability Summit last month. For cloud customers, it comes down to “map, measure, reduce,” said Christopher Wellise, AWS’ director of sustainability. Customers need to map their operational boundaries, use tools to measure the carbon impact and then create targets and strategies for reduction. “Then it's look for ways to transform their own business — what products are they innovating, what are their customers looking for — and begin to embed sustainability into their innovation practices,” Wellise told Protocol. Christopher Wellise, AWS’ director of sustainability Photo: AWS It's unclear how last month’s Supreme Court ruling , which limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate emissions from existing coal- and natural gas-fired power plants, will impact enterprises’ plans. But the Securities and Exchange Commission unveiled proposed rule changes in March that would force public companies to make certain climate-related risk disclosures, including their emissions, to provide greater transparency for investors. Either way, certain large multinational companies and financial institutions doing business or investing capital in Europe still face sustainability requirements under EU rules, even if they’re U.S.-based, according to Elisabeth Brinton, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of sustainability. “The EU made their jurisdictional authority for sustainability very similar to GDPR and privacy,” Brinton told Protocol. “So the market and where we have to go in terms of enabling not only carbon emissions reductions, but then across ESG more broadly, actually flows through and across to the U.S. companies that are global. It touches down into your cost centers, regardless of where they are.” Here's a look at how the Big Three cloud providers have been moving toward their carbon goals and helping customers decarbonize their applications and infrastructure, and how other technology companies are jumping into the business. AWS Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge in 2019, committing to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its businesses by 2040, including plans to power its operations with 100% renewable energy. “We have a 2030 target of reaching 100% renewable energy, but we're actually five years ahead of schedule,” Wellise said. Amazon bills itself as the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy. It’s announced more than 310 renewable projects globally, including wind and solar farms, that it says will have the capacity to deliver more than 42,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy annually – enough to power more than 3.9 million U.S. homes per year. Enterprises can start to reduce their carbon emissions just by moving their workloads from on-premises data centers to the cloud, according to Wellise. “There are big benefits, obviously, just moving into cloud primarily, and then there are some things we're doing once you're within cloud to help optimize workloads for customers, which further drives down their carbon footprint,” he said. On the demand side, AWS designed its own semiconductor chips to run specific workloads and further drive energy efficiencies in its data center infrastructure, Wellise noted. They include its Arm-based AWS Graviton processors. Graviton3-based compute instances use up to 60% less energy for the same performance than comparable instances using Intel or AMD chips, according to AWS. “We're really achieving huge economies of scale,” Wellise said, pointing to AWS-commissioned 451 Research studies that found AWS’ infrastructure is 3.6 times more energy-efficient than the median of surveyed U.S. enterprise data centers and up to five times more energy-efficient than average data centers in Europe and Asia . “Two-thirds of that is accomplished through our economies of scale and specific hardware design, and the other third of that is driven by our renewable energy programs. What that results in is up to an 80% reduction in carbon footprint associated with our customers’ workloads.” AWS’ Customer Carbon Footprint Tool, which became generally available in March, allows customers to see the estimated carbon impacts of their AWS workloads down to the service level for its EC2 compute service and S3 storage service. Customers also can get an estimate of the carbon emissions they avoided by using AWS instead of on-premises data centers, a calculation based on the 451 Research report findings. AWS' Customer Carbon Footprint Tool shows Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Image: AWS The Customer Carbon Footprint Tool shows AWS’ Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions associated with a customer’s cloud use from January 2020 onward. Scope 1 emissions come directly from AWS’ operations, such as the energy consumed by its data centers; Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy, such as the production of electricity used to power AWS facilities. The dashboard calculates those emissions monthly, but the data is reported on a three-month delay due to billing cycles of AWS’ electric utilities suppliers. Customers can measure changes in their carbon footprints over time as they deploy new resources on the cloud and review forecasted emissions based on their current usage and AWS’ renewable energy project road map. The Customer Carbon Footprint Tool, which is available in AWS’ billing console, uses the Greenhouse Gas Protocol accounting standards. “Whether it's governments, nonprofits, other organizations that are using our services, many of them are involved in either mandatory or voluntary related carbon reporting,” Wellise said. “And if they're a large SaaS provider or somebody that has a large percentage of their footprint tied up in IT, it's really important that they understand what that footprint is.” But since the tool’s rollout, AWS has been drawing some criticism for its lack of transparency , such as not disclosing its Scope 3 emissions and aggregating emissions data by the broader geographies instead of breaking it down at a cloud-region level. RedMonk analyst James Governor referred to it as a “Version One product,” saying an API would help developers build carbon tracking functionality into their apps or access the emissions data via their preferred command line tools or editors. “The calculator also doesn’t initially have an easy way to compare and model carbon intensity in different regions — that’s something that we will hopefully see sooner rather than later,” Governor wrote in April . “Instead, the calculator is initially positioned to illustrate the benefits of AWS hosting over self-hosting in your own data centres. Reasonable enough, but the real charm will be when customers can make better decisions about the sustainability of their cloud workloads.” Wellise acknowledged that customers would like more regional granularity and an API to parse the emissions data on their own. Including Scope 3 emissions and “further definition for regional differences” are on AWS’ road map, according to an AWS spokesperson. Once customers get their carbon data, the conversation moves to optimization, according to Wellise. In March, AWS added a Sustainability Pillar to its Well-Architected Framework, which provides a set of best practices for designing and operating workloads in the AWS cloud. “They can actually drive down and architect workloads in a way that they optimize for carbon,” Wellise said. Microsoft Rival Microsoft has set a goal to become carbon-negative by 2030 . Two years ago, it announced a $1 billion climate innovation fund to spur development of carbon reduction, capture and removal technologies, and Climeworks is among its investments. Microsoft this month signed a 10-year agreement under which Climeworks, which specializes in direct air-capture, will permanently remove 10,000 tons of carbon emissions from the atmosphere on its behalf. And last month, the Microsoft Climate Research Initiative launched with a focus on overcoming constraints to decarbonization, reducing uncertainties in carbon accounting and assessing climate risks in greater detail. For customers, Microsoft’s Cloud for Sustainability became generally available in June as a set of ESG capabilities from across its cloud portfolio, including Office 365 products such as Excel as well as products and services from partners. More than 60% of sustainability-related data from global enterprises sits in Excel, according to Brinton. By pulling together enterprises’ Excel data and edge or IoT data, the Cloud for Sustainability provides an extensible data platform for unified data models and for turning that data into actionable insights that drive “double bottom line of corporate performance, along with actual measurable impact around ESG,” she said. Elisabeth Brinton, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of sustainability, said even U.S. companies face EU climate rules. Photo: Microsoft Microsoft’s Sustainability Manager app is a baseline tool to help customers get a handle on their Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, according to Brinton. It automates data collection, centralizing disparate data into a common format to enable customers to record, monitor, analyze and report their emissions in near real time, and set and track sustainability targets. “A typical enterprise is going to have well over 100,000 different cost centers, and so being able to pull up and actually report and understand exactly your carbon emissions status by cost center — that's a huge data science challenge,” Brinton said. Microsoft’s Emissions Impact Dashboard for Azure became generally available last October. The Power BI application lets customers track, report and reduce the carbon emissions associated with their Azure cloud usage. Its dashboard lets customers drill down into Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by month, service and data-center region, and enter non-migrated workloads to get estimates of emissions savings from migrating to Azure. “It helps them with critical insights, helps them make informed, data-driven decisions about their own sustainable computing,” Brinton said. “It is a really, really great tool that gives you that real-time information.” Microsoft’s Emissions Impact Dashboard for Microsoft 365, which allows customers to track GHG emissions tied to their use of applications including Microsoft Teams and Exchange Online, is in preview. Microsoft also is continuing to focus on opportunities for sustainable low-code, no-code options, according to Brinton. “Low-code/no-code is an example of a method that you can actually derive sustainable improvements [from] because you're actually lowering the energy intensity, as it were, of your ability to develop code or compute,” she said. Google Cloud Google Cloud, which says it’s been carbon-neutral since 2007, has matched 100% of its electricity consumption with renewable energy since 2017 and maintains it operates the “cleanest cloud.” Its “moonshot” goal is to use carbon-free energy 24/7 in all of its data centers and offices by 2030 — which means it would match its electricity use with carbon-free energy for every hour in every region where it operates — as part of its goal to reach net zero emissions across its operations that year. Google Cloud’s Carbon Footprint, in preview as of last October, allows customers to measure, report and reduce their carbon emissions by providing the gross carbon emissions associated with the electricity from their Google Cloud Platform usage. Customers can monitor their cloud emissions by product, project and region. Google Cloud is adding Scope 1 and 3 emissions to that reporting data. “In addition to accounting for our customers' Scope 2 emissions associated with the production of the energy that we use, customers will also be able to access data on the emissions from the sources we control directly, as well as the relevant emissions of Google's Scope 3 apportioned to customer usage,” Justin Keeble, managing director of global sustainability at Google Cloud, told reporters in a briefing last month. “This will give our customers the most comprehensive view possible of the emissions associated with their cloud usage.” Google Cloud's Carbon Footprint allows customers to measure, report and reduce their carbon emissions. Image: Google Cloud Customers can export data from Carbon Footprint to Google Cloud’s BigQuery data warehouse to perform analytics and visualizations, in addition to using the data for sustainability reporting requirements. Google Cloud publishes its calculation methodology so auditors and reporting teams can verify that data meets Greenhouse Gas Protocol frameworks for measuring emissions. Non-technical users of Google Cloud, such as sustainability teams, also will be able to access the data for reporting purposes. Early next year, Google Cloud plans to release Carbon Footprint for Google Workspace (its cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools) so customers can understand emissions associated with products including Gmail and Google Meet and Docs. Carbon Footprint is part of Google Cloud’s Carbon Sense collection of tools that includes features from products such as Active Assist — its tools for customers to optimize their cloud operations — and Region Picker. Google Cloud added a sustainability category to Active Assist, and its unattended project recommender uses machine learning to estimate the gross carbon emissions that customers can save if they remove abandoned or idle cloud resources. “In addition to intentionally shortening resource schedules, you can also proactively delete unused VMs, optimize VM shapes, as well as shut down inactive projects,” said Alexandrina Garcia Verdin, a cloud and sustainability developer relations engineer at Google Cloud. “This is where the Active Assist tool really shines, as it proactively suggests carbon-reducing configurations, along with other cost-performance and security-friendly actions.” One of the most impactful steps a customer can take to reduce cloud-related emissions is using Region Picker to select cloud regions powered by cleaner energy, Keeble said. Google Cloud last year unveiled the carbon characteristics of its cloud regions and icons identifying low-carbon cloud regions so customers can choose “cleaner” ones for their work. Region Picker helps customers compare priorities around lowering emissions versus pricing and latency. Google Cloud also has introduced low-carbon mode, which lets customers automatically restrict their cloud resources to low-carbon locations across Google Cloud infrastructure with a few clicks. “Setting defaults can really just simplify the number of priorities put on developers while still ensuring the apps they build run on as low carbon infrastructure as possible,” Kate Brandt, Google’s chief sustainability officer, said during the Sustainability Summit. “For organizations where digital infrastructure is a considerable part of their supply chain footprint, prioritizing sustainable infrastructure … can really make a huge difference.” Salesforce, a Google Cloud customer that’s been prioritizing low-carbon infrastructure, expects to reduce its yearly gross emissions of certain workloads by roughly 80% with Google Cloud, Brandt said. Google Cloud is sharing 24/7 carbon-free energy data with customers under a new pilot program announced last month. The information, collected by Google Cloud and its partners over 10 years, includes historical and real-time regional energy grid and carbon data at hourly levels. Customers will be able to see their electricity emissions profile, baseline their carbon-free energy (CFE) score and their Scope 2 emissions footprint from indirect GHG emissions, and forecast and plan for an optimized energy portfolio to achieve its desired CFE score, including by executing carbon-free energy transactions. The cloud provider last month also rolled out Google Cloud Ready - Sustainability, a new validation program for partners with products and services on Google Cloud that assist customers in achieving sustainability goals, including reducing carbon emissions, increasing the sustainability of their value chains and processing ESG data. The products and services will be available through a new Google Cloud Marketplace Sustainability Hub. Other efforts Other companies also are jumping into the mix. Alibaba Cloud last month released Energy Expert, software for customers to manage the carbon emissions of their operations and products. Cloud Carbon Footprint, an open-source project sponsored by Thoughtworks, provides tooling to measure, monitor and reduce cloud carbon emissions, including embodied emissions from manufacturing, and works for multiple cloud providers, including AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. Cirrus Nexus, which has an artificial intelligence-driven cloud management platform, in May launched TrueCarbon, a carbon-reduction tool that currently works for AWS and Microsoft Azure. “We look at actual consumption,” Cirrus Nexus CEO Chris Noble told Protocol. “We just don't take a database or a virtual machine or some sort of workload and say, ‘OK, this is about how much carbon.’ We actually look at it in five-minute increments. We don't rely on the reporting of the CSP [cloud service provider]. Our interest isn't driving utilization or driving efficiency in their data centers. Our goal is to give our customers a very clear, honest view of how much carbon they're causing to be produced, regardless of what offsets, what carbon credits CSPs buy.” TrueCarbon uses real-time information from energy production data that’s published on an hourly basis for the U.S., U.K. and EU, according to Noble. “Every hour, we know what that composition on the energy grid is,” he said. “We know how much of the energy is nuclear, coal, wind, solar. So every five minutes, we look at how much power they're consuming per workload, and then we translate that to how much energy it's consuming off the grid. And we translate how much carbon that's caused to be produced by consuming that energy.” TrueCarbon also allows customers to automate changes, according to Noble. “If a company really wanted to get aggressive about it, we can move their workloads from region to region to get the best carbon efficiency,” he said. “Our tool will actually go out and make those changes for them on the fly.” Cloud providers pour billions of dollars into their data centers and have a vested interest in driving business through them, even if they’re not as environmentally sound as data centers in other cloud regions, Noble said. “They built data centers where there's … lots of reliance on coal and oil and natural gas,” he said. “They're not going to fold them up tomorrow. We believe things like carbon credits are helpful and they're good, they draw attention, but they don't really solve anything. Carbon offsets like planting trees, you know it’s good, but it doesn’t really change the amount of carbon being produced.” Keep ReadingShow less Nat Rubio-Licht is a Los Angeles-based news writer at Protocol. They graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in newspaper and online journalism in May 2020. Prior to joining the team, they worked at the Los Angeles Business Journal as a technology and aerospace reporter. July 25, 2022 Chris Farmer could sense the tech downturn was coming from a mile away. Having previously run a company during the dot-com boom, he had a feeling that sky-high valuations and massive funding rounds would eventually collapse. So Farmer, CEO of VC firm SignalFire, made changes to protect his firm: investing earlier and actually having a hand in guiding his portfolio companies in executing strategy. Protocol talked with Farmer about investing to prepare for economic volatility, the future of VC and running SignalFire like a tech company, rather than as a venture firm. This interview was edited for brevity and clarity. Tell me about SignalFire’s main investment verticals. At the end of the day, we are talent-driven investors. We build large-scale systems as a firm to track the best entrepreneurs and talents and engineers that are moving around. To some degree that dictates where we go. Now that said, we also have areas that we focus on heavily where we see a huge opportunity, and obviously the macro environment impacts that as well. We do a lot of health tech, which tends to do very well in economically volatile times; a lot of SaaS; a lot of fintech, but we tend to do stuff without balance sheet risk, where you're not lending, [because] that tends to do very poorly in economic recessions. If I had to choose one thesis, it’s that we're a super data-driven firm. Half the team have degrees and experience in AI or machine learning. I noticed that SignalFire’s built a team over the years with some experienced tech talent. How’d you manage to recruit that kind of talent? We are built like an operating company, unlike a venture partnership. We are structured like a tech company, much more than any other venture firm. I'm the CEO; we have a CTO; a talent officer, that’s [Tawni Nazario-Cranz]; we have a head of go-to-market, that’s Jim Stoneham; we have an engineering and data science team. I think that was what ultimately attracted them: They saw that what we were doing was pioneering something very different than what they were seeing from other venture firms. We allow them to really be an operator more than an investor, but to do it across a whole portfolio of companies. If you like advising early-stage companies, it's the ultimate sandbox from that standpoint. How is the tech downturn affecting your firm and portfolio? None of us are immune from the economic downturn and, you know, I've tried to stay off VC Twitter. I ran a company from 2001 to 2004 after the dot-com bust. I’m always sort of waiting for the next shoe to drop. I started getting very worried three or four years ago; I thought, “This is not sustainable.” We were 12 years into an economic growth period. It was already the longest in history, you can’t imagine there's going to be another three to five years on top of it. I'm just like, “OK, this party is going to end.” So we shifted earlier. We traded valuation risk for execution and technology risks. We shifted our breakout fund, which was historically series B to series A, and we shifted our seed fund to pre-seed and early seed. So we're not sitting on a bunch of stuff we way overpaid for. Have you noticed any industries that are more or less resilient than others? I would say cybersecurity has held up much better than a lot of other sectors, and health tech held up relatively well. Now, some of the valuations got sort of kind of crazy in both of those categories. But you're not going to rip out your cyber products. The deeper in the tech stack you are, the more resilient. But anything hardware, heavy R&D, where there's no revenue or a path to profitability, those sectors just get obliterated during economic downturns. The other one is if you don't have a fast payback on your customer acquisition, so a lot of direct-to-consumer companies. You're seeing a lot of people pull back their marketing spend, and if you don't have really amazing recurring subscriptions and retention, etc., that's just brutal. What makes SignalFire want to invest in certain startups? What do you look for? It starts almost entirely around talent and interesting market chance, asking “is there a tectonic shift happening?” So part of our health tech thesis is that, while it has been a pretty hard sector — regulatory risks, hospital bills, razor-thin margins, people's lives being on the line — COVID blew the doors off the the hesitancy of telemedicine, the consumerization of health care, because they had no choice. And I think a lot of people don't want to go back. That creates a huge opportunity to innovate. So we look for those sorts of tectonic shifts. We also look for super interesting founders. Sometimes there’s a market you never would have thought of, and you're just backing an amazing entrepreneur. With a potential recession looming, what does the future look like for the VC investing landscape as a whole? I think we saw a huge generation of people dabbling in venture capital, some of them very seriously and some of them as side hustles or weekend funds. I don't mean that pejoratively, but, you know, they have a day job. Obviously some of those people will have used that to just completely fall in love with venture and commit their life and do an amazing job at it. But I would say probably 75% of the people will be like, “Wow, this is a lot more work and it takes a lot more of my time than I thought.” I think there are a lot of angels that will take a breather. There's a lot of funds that saw it as a great way to make extra money on the side that weren't as serious or committed. The more-opportunistic ones, those will go away. And the prospect of no help may not sound as good to a lot of entrepreneurs as it once did, because you're not going to get five investors at six-month intervals anymore. You may have to go several years before your next funding round. So you need people who are going to be with you in the trenches. Keep ReadingShow less

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  • When was PayActiv founded?

    PayActiv was founded in 2012.

  • Where is PayActiv's headquarters?

    PayActiv's headquarters is located at 4300 Stevens Creek Blvd., San Jose.

  • What is PayActiv's latest funding round?

    PayActiv's latest funding round is Series C.

  • How much did PayActiv raise?

    PayActiv raised a total of $133.55M.

  • Who are the investors of PayActiv?

    Investors of PayActiv include Generation Partners, Ziegler, Eldridge, Softbank Capital, Softbank China & India Holdings and 4 more.

  • Who are PayActiv's competitors?

    Competitors of PayActiv include ZayZoon, Paidiem, Wagestream, DailyPay, SteadyPay, Branch, Paywatch, Refyne, Trezeo, HoneyBee and 12 more.

  • What products does PayActiv offer?

    PayActiv's products include Lively App.

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