Accion Venture Lab, the "seed-stage investment arm" of US-based NGO Accion, recently raised USD 23 million from a co-investment vehicle of third-party funds and USD 10 million from Accion. Accion Venture Lab invests in financial technology (fintech) startups seeking to increase the reach, quality, and affordability of financial services for the underserved.
Vikas Raj, the managing director of Accion Venture Lab, said, "There is strong potential for inclusive fintech startups to reach historically underserved communities while generating returns, and the oversubscription of the Accion Venture Lab fund is great validation of our early work investing in more than 40 innovative businesses operating in 30 markets."
Accion Venture Lab's new investment vehicle includes The Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), the Ford Foundation, the ImpactAssets Giving Fund of the Blue Haven Initiative, the Heifer Foundation, the MetLife Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the Pace Able Foundation, Promotion et Participation pour la Cooperation Economique (PROPARCO), Prudential Financial, the Stichting Hivos-Triodos Fund and Visa.
Accion Venture Lab, which was created in 2011, typically invests equity in amounts of USD 300,000 to USD 500,000. As of 2018, Accion Venture Lab had invested a total of USD 18 million in 34 enterprises.
Founded in 1961, Accion is a nonprofit that seeks to alleviate poverty by offering services such as microenterprise loans and business training. The organization has 110 partner microfinance institutions (MFIs) providing financial services to entrepreneurs in 50 countries in Africa, the Americas and Asia. As of 2018, Accion reports total assets of USD 345 million.
The article MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Accion Venture Lab Adds $33m to Fintech Investment Pool first appeared in Micro Capital on Thursday, September 19, 2019.