Accion, a pioneer in global financial inclusion, sponsored and is an anchor investor in the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, the first global fintech fund for the underserved. The Fund invests in innovative financial technology and services companies that promote financial inclusion for the three billion people around the world who are underserved by the financial sector, with limited or no access to quality savings, credit, insurance, and payments.
Despite this pronounced need, reaching the world’s financially underserved has never held more potential: nearly 85% of the world’s population has mobile phones, which potentially allows financial service providers to reach new markets better, faster, and cheaper than ever before. Other technological trends, including cloud computing, big data, and alternative credit scoring are changing the ways that we can effectively and responsibly deliver financial services – even to those who have never used them before. The growing purchasing power of people at the base of the pyramid and the potential for positive social change motivated Accion to sponsor the creation of this fund.
The Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund aims to address this solvable problem by catalyzing fintech innovations that can radically improve the quality and availability of financial services for the underserved. Alternative credit, payments, small and medium enterprise (SME) finance, and insurtech are among the solutions the Fund aims to accelerate.
The oversubscribed Fund represents $141M in commitments from an array of leading institutional investors including global insurance companies, investment banks and asset managers, a U.S. pension fund, a university endowment, prominent foundations and family offices, as well as development finance institutions. The Fund will focus on emerging markets in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Asia (with a particular emphasis on India and Southeast Asia) that have demonstrated the greatest potential for inclusive fintech.
The Fund’s anchor investor, general partner, and sponsor is Accion, a global nonprofit committed to creating a financially inclusive world that benefits the three billion financially underserved people failed by the world’s formal economy. Over the last nine years, Accion has made more than thirty impact investments in startups that are finding new ways to meet the financial needs of the underserved. The Fund is managed by Quona Capital, a venture firm focused on inclusive financial technology in emerging markets. The Quona founding team has decades of experience as investors and entrepreneurs in financial services and technology in both emerging and developed markets and is passionate about making a lasting impact through its investments. Quona leverages Accion’s global brand, technical specialists, and institutional relationships to promote and advance the fund. For more information on Quona see www.quona.com.
Accion has always pursued “double-bottom line” investing, where its impact investments create positive economic and social returns. This fund has resulted from that belief. Accion hopes that the Fund will help channel more attention, resources, and energy to promote financial inclusion, and ultimately help more people around the world access, use, and benefit from financial services.
The Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund pipeline is dynamic and growing. The Fund plans announcements of additional investments in exciting innovators expanding the quality and availability of financial services in emerging markets. Investments to date include:
For more information on the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund portfolio and the Accion Frontier Legacy portfolio, see www.quona.com/portfolio.