TechInAfrica – Accion’s seed-stage investment arm, Accion Venture Lab, has raised $23 million for a new fintech startup fund called the Accion Venture Lab Limited Partnership. The new fund was raised from a number of participants, including Ford Foundation, Visa Inc., and Proparco.
The new fund seeks to support fintech startups from specific criteria not limited to only from Africa. However, Accion Venture Lab Managing Director, Tahira Dosani said that roughly 25 to 30% of the fund will be allocated to Africa.
“We want to continue to focus on Latin-America, on Sub-Saharan Africa, on Southeast Asia as well as in the U.S. It really is about where we see the need and the opportunity across the markets that we’re in,” Dosani said as quoted from TechCrunch.
Accion Venture Lab is in line with Accion’s vision to drive financial inclusion globally. To date, it already has a portfolio of 36 fintech startup investment across five continents, including in North America (US), Latin America, and Asia (India). This year, Accion Venture Lab supported a $6.5 million series of investment in a South African fintech, Lulalend.
“Our goal is to really be that first institutional investor in the companies we invest in. That’s where we see the biggest capital gap. And it’s where we build capability and expertise,” said Dosani.
Accion’s new LP fund is seen to bring more capital to digital finance startups in Africa. Fintech on the continent is predicted to keep growing as Africa has approximately 1.2 billion of the unbanked and underbanked population which is the largest in the world.