African fintech startups to benefit from US$203m Accion Quona Inclusion Fund

AFRICA – Quona Capital, a venture firm focused on financial inclusion in emerging markets, has announced the final close of the Accion Quona Inclusion Fund at US$203 million in commitments from an array of leading investors.

Quona is a US-based VC company, which focuses on fintech opportunities in emerging markets in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Accion, a nonprofit focused on financial inclusivity, acts as the fund’s sponsor, general partner, and anchor investor, according to a statement.

Quona Capital, which has supported more than 20 financial technology companies expanding access for underserved consumers and small businesses in Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, has a strategic relationship with Accion, a global non-profit focused on microfinance and fintech impact investing.

Together, the two organisations have launched the Accion Quona Inclusion Fund, which has just closed at US$203 million, significantly exceeding its $150 million target.

According to Disrupt Africa, the investors include global asset managers and insurance companies, investment and commercial banks, as well as university endowments, foundations, family offices, and development finance institutions.

The Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund is the first fund managed by Quona and sponsored by Accion, and will pursue Quona’s usual strategy, which was deployed in a strong portfolio of investments with two exits to date.

“Our fund performance, robust pipeline of inclusive fintechs, and growing LP interest are a ringing endorsement of our thesis about the power of emerging market venture capital,” said Monica Brand Engel, Quona Capital co-founder and partner.

“This oversubscribed fund represents a significant milestone for financial inclusion and the impact investing industry. Our portfolio of promising business models promoting financial inclusion in emerging markets demonstrates the connection between profit and purpose.

“Fintech for inclusion brings marginalised consumers and small businesses to the mainstream and can inspire even more entrepreneurial problem-solving in traditionally underserved communities.”

To date, the fund has invested in African companies such as South Africa’s LulaLend and Kenya’s Sokowatch, as well as companies from Brazil, India, Pakistan, and Mexico.

Quona got its start at Accion before becoming an independent venture firm in 2015. Since then, the company has supported more than 20 fintech companies looking to expand access for underserved consumers and small businesses.

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