Non-profit group Accion International is boosting its investment initiative for seed stage fintech startups working on financial inclusion, raising $23 million from investors and adding another $10 million from its own pocket.
Launched in 2012 with $10 million in capital, Accion Venture Lab invests in startups that use technology to increase the reach, quality, and affordability of financial services for the underserved.
The lab has built up a portfolio of 36 companies in Asia, Africa, Latin America and North America, working in areas such as insurtech, agricultural finance, digital lending, holistic MSME finance solutions, and personal financial management.
For every dollar Accion Venture Lab has invested, its portfolio companies have raised an additional $13 in equity capital from later-stage investors. The lab also provides firms with strategic and operational support.
Now, the lab is getting a hefty financial injection, with Visa, the Ford Foundation, and the French Development Agency's private sector financing arm among those contributing to a new $23 million coinvestment vehicle. Accion is making its own, separate $10 million investment.
Michael Schlein, President and CEO of Accion. "Fintech startups are finding new ways to provide products and services that help these underserved people. Yet often startups lack the capital and strategic support they need to grow and scale their impact. Accion Venture Lab addresses this need."
Accion also works with VC Quona Capital on separate fund focused on growth stage fintech startups in emerging markets.