Proparco invested US$2 million in Accion Venture Lab’s new fund, adding together with global nonprofit Accion and a group of third-party impact and commercial investors, $33M to the initial Venture Lab’s capital pool. Since its launch in 2012, Accion Venture Lab has proven itself as a leader in fintech impact investing at the seed stage. This increased capital will allow Accion Venture Lab to further develop its activities in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The rise of fintech holds great potential in developing countries where a significant part of the population remains under-banked and lacks access to financial services. Women and population living in rural areas in particular would benefit greatly from such financial services allowing them to finance their businesses and facilitating savings, payments or access to credit.
The Accion Venture Lab fund intends to support startups in the early stage of their development, helping them grow and increase their impact until they can access capital provided by later-stage investors. Accessing early stage funding remains a major difficulty for young startups in developing countries.
After a $3 million investment in Jumo in 2018, this is Proparco’s second operation specifically dedicated to the fintech ecosystem in developing countries. It illustrates Proparco’s commitment to innovation and financial inclusion in developing countries.
This project is also in line with the French initiative Choose Africa. Launched in March 2019, this $2.5 billion initiative ambitions to support close to 10,000 startups and MSMEs in Africa by the end of 2022.