World-first FinTech fund targets financial inclusion

Three billion people around the world are underserved by the financial sector, with limited or no access to quality savings, credit, insurance, and payments.

The Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund aims to address this solvable problem by catalysing 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.

  • Some 200 insiders, experts, startups and investors will discuss the developments and challenges for payments in Africa at CFO South Africa's Future of Payments event in Sandton, Johannesburg, on 14 March. Get inspired, extend your network and develop business. Register here.

Global nonprofit Accion, the Fund's sponsor and anchor investor, brings more than 50 years of experience in harnessing the capital markets to help provide people with the financial tools and services they need to build better lives.

Quona Capital - founded by a global team with deep entrepreneurial and investment experience in financial services and technology - is a venture firm specialising in FinTech for inclusive finance in emerging markets.

Accion and Quona Capital announced today the final close of the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, the world's first global FinTech fund for the underserved. The oversubscribed Fund represents $141 million in commitments from an array of leading institutional investors including global insurance companies, investment banks and asset managers, 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.

"Three billion people are left out of, or poorly served by, the global financial system. The Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund - the world's first global fintech fund for the underserved - will help address this," said Michael Schlein, CEO and President of Accion (pictured). "The Fund will support innovators using new technologies to help create a financial system that works for everyone. By focusing on both social impact and financial returns, we believe the Fund shows the importance of harnessing the capital markets to solve society's most challenging problems."

"The diversity and calibre of investors the Fund has attracted and the capital they have put behind it is an unambiguous validation of our investment thesis and a milestone for both financial inclusion and the impact investing industry," said Monica Brand Engel, a founding partner at Quona Capital, the Fund manager. "By identifying and supporting the most promising business models, the Fund can produce a demonstration effect that inspires others to pursue inclusive new technologies and compete in traditionally underserved communities."