23 July 2017
Download the paper now.

New fintech fund targets emerging markets

28 July 2014  |  8241 views  |  0 Africa

Anthemis Group's Udayan Goyal has teamed up with private equity veteran Matteo Stefanel in a bid to raise $250 million for a growth fund targeting fintech startups in the developing world. Finextra spoke to Goyal about the fund.

The Apis fund will focus on technology-led startups working in areas such as remittances, payments systems and microlending in Africa and Asia.

The venture will pool Stefanel's experience in emerging markets through his background as a senior partner at private equity firm Abraaj Group with Goyal's expertise in fintech, gathered as a founder of Anthemis Group, which has invested in the likes of Simple, Fidor and eToro.

Explaining the new fund, Goyal tells Finextra that over the last three years he has seen companies in frontier markets that are "really interesting and really challenging the way we think about financial services".

However, most of these firms are looking not for the early stage investment in which Anthemis specialises, but larger sums. "And so it became very clear there was an opportunity to pursue that in these markets and deploy capital," says Goyal. Which is where Stefanel, who spent five years at Dubai-based Abraaj working in emerging markets, comes in.

Goyal says that the fund will shy away from "balance sheet-heavy" areas such as banks and insurance companies, instead focussing on distribution - remittances, payments systems, card platforms, microlending and consumer finance.

There are two core aspects to Apis, says Goyal. The first is to help spread financial inclusion throughout Africa and Asia through innovative technology. The second is to get in on the ground floor at firms that could also make their way to developed markets.

He argues that because emerging markets don't have the established infrastructure - for example branch networks - that is seen in the west, more imaginative ideas win through.

Says Goyal: "As a result of a lot of really interesting business models being built in these [emerging] markets, there's something called reverse innovation going on. Which is that those business models that are being developed in those emerging markets, in those frontier markets, are now coming back to the developed markets."

He cites Grameen Bank, the microfinance giant set up in Bangladesh by Muhammad Yunus, which is now underwriting loans in the US, and mPesa, which has dipped its toe in Europe by launching in Romania.

"So you're developing technology in these frontier markets, you're bringing them back now to the developed markets. And that's a trend, that's a cornerstone of the fund because we see a lot of those trends starting to happen," says Goyal.

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board: sign up now

Related stories

Funding running dry for payments startups as new entrants struggle to gain ground

Funding running dry for payments startups as new entrants struggle to gain ground

18 July 2014  |  13343 views  |  10 comments | 21 tweets | 10 linkedin
Santander launches $100m fintech venture fund

Santander launches $100m fintech venture fund

03 July 2014  |  15849 views  |  0 comments | 21 tweets | 22 linkedin
Moven raises $8m ahead of international push

Moven raises $8m ahead of international push

01 July 2014  |  9597 views  |  0 comments | 14 tweets | 12 linkedin
New York set to overtake Silicon Valley as fintech startup hub

New York set to overtake Silicon Valley as fintech startup hub

26 June 2014  |  13035 views  |  0 comments | 31 tweets | 16 linkedin
London enjoys fintech investment boom

London enjoys fintech investment boom

26 March 2014  |  7969 views  |  0 comments | 20 tweets | 16 linkedin
Fintech innovation VCs Anthemis Group and Life.Sreda team up

Fintech innovation VCs Anthemis Group and Life.Sreda team up

04 September 2013  |  8528 views  |  0 comments | 6 tweets | 3 linkedin

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)
visit www.finastra.comvisit www.niceactimize.comvisit vasco.com/news/PSD2-compliant-solutions

Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
German fintech factory FinLeap raises EUR39 millionGerman fintech factory FinLeap raises EUR3...
14150 views comments | 19 tweets | 15 linkedin
Mastercard to buy AI outfit BrighterionMastercard to buy AI outfit Brighterion
10400 views comments | 14 tweets | 20 linkedin
Barclays rides payments-as-a-service wave with investment in Form3Barclays rides payments-as-a-service wave...
9280 views comments | 16 tweets | 12 linkedin
Mastercard and Scotiabank join Enterprise Ethereum AllianceMastercard and Scotiabank join Enterprise...
7909 views comments | 25 tweets | 16 linkedin
PayPal strikes deals with Chase and CitiPayPal strikes deals with Chase and Citi
7361 views comments | 9 tweets | 5 linkedin

Featured job

Brussels or Frankfurt

Find your next job