for Financial Inclusion Start-ups
and leader in global microfinance, today announced the launch of
management support to financial inclusion start-ups worldwide.
research and development and are at the pilot/first-revenue stage.
Investments will typically be in the range of US
invested either as convertible debt or equity.
"There is tremendous excitement and promise across the globe in
efforts to deliver vital financial services to those who have
traditionally lacked access," said
and CEO. "Our new
innovative technologies and disruptive business models with the
potential to transform the quality and scale of services available to
the financially excluded."
Seeking approximately 20 investments over the next three years,
Mobile financial services: Mobile phone-based financial services or business models built on branchless banking platforms, delivering services that include savings accounts, remittances, credit, and micro-insurance.
Credit underwriting/delivery: Specialized credit assessment or delivery models to finance not only microenterprises, but also housing, education, small and medium enterprises, and energy initiatives.
Internet and social media: Online or social media platforms for enabling financial access (e.g., peer-to-peer lending and social media-based financial services).
Embedded financial services: Pay-as-you-go or lease-to-own energy products, modular housing and other 'embedded' financial-service models.
New technology for bottom-of-the-pyramid finance: Taking advantage of new technology innovations (cloud computing, Internet access, handhelds/tablets) to improve the reach, cost, or quality of financial services to underserved customers, including customer relationship management, field force management, marketing/customer education, and analytics.
has focused largely on companies in
are normally considered 'pre-investable' – that is, when a product or
service is ready to test the market but has not yet proved its ability
to generate revenue. The Lab will provide not only patient capital,
but also a dedicated team ready to assist with early-stage tasks such
as analytics, financial modeling, business development and reaching
its global network of microfinance institutions, and relationships in
the global microfinance and mainstream financial industries to help
build an entrepreneurial ecosystem in which portfolio companies can
The Lab will be directed by
D.C. offices, with staff to be based in
focuses on similarly disruptive but more established companies with
demonstrated revenue traction. Both investment vehicles are part of
ongoing efforts by
will radically improve the efficiency and enhance the quality of
financial-service delivery to the under-banked.
About Accion Accion is a global nonprofit dedicated to building a
financially inclusive world, with access to economic opportunity for
all, by giving people the financial tools they need to improve their
lives. A world pioneer in microfinance, over the last 50 years we
have helped build 62 microfinance institutions in 31 countries on four
continents. Those institutions are currently reaching millions of
clients. The Accion U.S. Network is the largest microfinance network
in the country and, since inception, has served hundreds of thousands
of clients with loans and support. For further information, visit
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