Quona Capital’s Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund closes with $141m

Early growth-stage fintech investor Quona Capital and non-profit firm Accion have reach a final close of $141m on their financial inclusion-focused fund.

The fund claims three billion people around the world are underserved by existing financial services.

This includes limited or no access to quality savings, credit, insurance and payments.

The Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund aims to tackle this through investments in fintech innovations that can improve the quality and availability of financial services for this section of the market.

Alternative credit, payments, small and medium enterprise (SME) finance and insurtech are among the solutions the fund aims to accelerate.

Geographically, it aims to invest across emerging markets that have demonstrated the potential for inclusive fintech.

These include sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia – with a particular emphasis on India and South-East Asia.

Accion’s president and CEO Michael Schlein said: “The Fund will support innovators using new technologies to help create a financial system that works for everyone.

“By focusing on both social impact and financial returns, we believe the Fund shows the importance of harnessing the capital markets to solve society’s most challenging problems.”

The fund was oversubscribed with commitments from a range of institutional investors including global insurance companies, investment banks and asset managers.

Among these are AXA Impact Fund, World Bank Group member IFC, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Mastercard and Metlife.

It also saw commitments from a university endowment, prominent foundations and family offices, as well as development finance institutions.

The fund’s manager and a founding partner at Quona Capital Monica Brand Engel said: “The diversity and caliber of investors the Fund has attracted and the capital they have put behind it is an unambiguous validation of our investment thesis and a milestone for both financial inclusion and the impact investing industry.

“By identifying and supporting the most promising business models, the Fund can produce a demonstration effect that inspires others to pursue inclusive new technologies and compete in traditionally underserved communities.”

The fund has already participated in nine rounds including Brazilian lending platform Creditas and Philippine mobile payments platform Coins.

It most recently led Indian lender and financial wellness startup CreditMantri’s $7.6m Series B round.

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