Accion Venture Lab raises $33 mn more to fund fintech startups

Accion Venture Lab raises $33 mn more to fund fintech startups
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5 Sep, 2019

US-based non-profit organisation Accion announced that its seed-stage investment initiative Accion Venture Lab is adding $33 million to its capital pool with the launch of a new $23 million fund and an additional $10 million investment from Accion.

The new fund brings together a group of third-party impact and commercial investors to fund fintech startups, the company said in a statement. 

Investors in Accion Venture Lab now include Dutch development bank FMO, Ford Foundation, MetLife Foundation, French Development Agency’s private-sector financing arm Proparco, Prudential Financial and Visa.

With the fresh fundraise, Accion Venture Lab’s total capital under management increased to $43 million, the statement said.

Launched in 2012 with $10 million, Accion Venture Lab has been investing in fintech startups at the seed stage.

“Despite progress, three billion people still have no safe or simple way to save money, get a loan to build a business, pay a bill or protect their health and property with insurance,” Michael Schlein, president and chief executive officer, Accion, said in the statement.

“Fintech startups are finding new ways to provide products and services that help these underserved people. Yet often startups lack the capital and strategic support they need to grow and scale their impact. Accion Venture Lab addresses this need,” he added.

Accion Venture Lab claims to be the first institutional investor in its portfolio companies to provide both capital and extensive strategic and operational support across a broad range of functional areas.

“We’re seeing substantial growth in the amount of investment capital available for fintech startups from what we saw when Accion Venture Lab launched in 2012,” said Tahira Dosani, managing director, Accion Venture Lab.

Accion Venture Lab typically invests around $400,000-$500,000 to buy minority stakes. For every dollar Accion Venture Lab has invested, its portfolio companies have raised an additional $13 in equity capital from later-stage investors, the statement said.

Accion Venture Lab, which has made eight investments in India till now, exited from fintech company Aye Finance (Aye) in December 2018. It had announced its exit from lender Varthana in November 2016.

In November 2017, it invested in credit management startup CreditMantri.