India Is a Hotbed of Financial Inclusion
As Chief Operating Officer of Accion, a non-profit organisation that lends to and invests in ventures in the financial inclusion and financial technology sectors, Esteban Altschul has a ringside view of developments across the globe in these areas.
“Right now,” he says, “for Accion, in terms of our current exposure and potential that we see, India is the most important country for us.” Accion, he points out, operates in more than 30 countries.
Altschul adds that India is a hotbed of financial inclusion and at the forefront of innovation in financial inclusion and in fintech. The huge market and the unmet demand – of nearly 300-400 million people without access to quality products and services – puts India right at the top in terms of Accion’s operations.
It has so far invested in over a dozen ventures, committing about $8 million, with a handful more in the pipeline. Its investments here include IFMR Holdings, Shubham Housing Development Finance, MeraDoctor, NeoGrowth, AYE Finance, Saija Finance and CreditMantri. Accion invests in non-banking finance companies, micro-finance institutions and fintech companies through three vehicles – Gateway Fund, Venture Lab and Frontier Inclusion Fund – participating from the seed stage to Series A and beyond, depending on the fund from which it invests and the nature of the venture.