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Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund announces final close of $141 million

LiveMint logoLiveMint 06-03-2017 Swaraj Singh Dhanjal

Mumbai: Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, a global fintech fund managed by Quona Capital, on Monday announced a final close of $141 million, the company said in a statement.

A final close is the final threshold for fund raising, after which no new investors can participate in the fund.

The Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund invests in companies that innovate to expand access to financial services to underserved consumers and businesses in emerging markets.

It had announced a first close in end-2015.

The fund received capital from an array of 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.

Some of the investors in the fund include AXA Impact Fund, Dutch development finance institution FMO, world bank arm International Finance Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., MetLife and funds managed by Triodos Investment Management.

The fund’s anchor investor, general partner and sponsor is Accion, a global non-profit.

It 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 statement said.

Focus areas for the fund include alternative credit, payments, small and medium enterprise (SME) finance and insurance-tech.

Till date, the fund has made three investments in India. These include NeoGrowth, which offers card and other electronic payments receivables financing to SMEs in India; IndiaMART, India’s largest B2B listing and transactions platform for SMEs; and CreditMantri, a credit advisory platform in India, utilizing traditional and alternative data to provide consumers enhanced credit profiles and access to improved credit options.

“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, chief executive officer and president of Accion.

The fund will support innovators using new technologies to help create a financial system that works for everyone, he said.

“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,” added Schlein.

Some of the other ventures the fund has includes Konfio, which uses data analytics and is an online platform to deliver affordable working capital loans to micro-businesses in Mexico; Creditas, a provider of secured home and auto equity loan solutions for the emerging middle class in Brazil; and Coins, a mobile payments platform leveraging blockchain to provide a comprehensive suite of services for low-income consumers in the Philippines.

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