Microfinance Giant Launches Venture Capital Fund For East Africa
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Accion, an international microfinance and investment firm, has launched Venture Lab, a $10 million investment vehicle which will provide seed capital and management support to financial inclusion startups worldwide, with a particular focus on East Africa and India.
In a press release, Accion says they will show a preference for companies which have “completed research and development and are at the pilot/first-revenue stage.” The initiative is looking to make 20 investments over the next three years and will invest anywhere between $100,000 and $300,000 in startups focused on mobile financial services, credit underwriting/delivery, Internet and social media, embedded financial services and new technology for bottom-of-the-pyramid finance.
“Venture Lab will seek out companies developing game-changing technologies and disruptive business models with the potential to transform the quality and scale of financial services available to the world’s un- and under-banked,” said Michael Schlein, Accion president and CEO.The funds will be invested either as convertible debt or equity.