Digital Financial Services (DFS) Lab, a developing world-focused fintech incubator backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has handed over more than $400,000 to four startups that impressed during an intensive bootcamp.
Funded by a $4.8 million three year grant from the Gates Foundation, DFS Lab invited 20 entrepreneurs from 10 countries to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for a seven-day bootcamp where they got hands-on advice from industry stalwarts before presenting their ideas to a board of experts.
The board picked four stand-out ventures: Indian remittances firm Yooz, Pakistani credit score specialist Credit Fix, Ugandan credit outfit Malako, and an Indian firm, Serv'd, which aims to help informal household workers such as maids and drivers build up the official history that lets them get access to financial products.
These four get a share of over $400,000 investment and a further six months of intensive mentorship.
Jake Kendall, director, DFS Labs, says: "We are searching for breakthrough ideas with the potential to bring low income households from the cash economy into the digital financial realm and give them tools to improve their lives.
"The entrepreneurs were a very diverse and talented group from all over the world. Their different skills, perspectives and levels of experience produced valuable insights and led to dynamic, highly productive collaborations."