Catalyst Fund

Catalyst Fund, a global fintech accelerator focused on emerging markets has announced six early-stage fintech startups that will participate in its lastest cohorts.

The early-stage fintech startups featuring in the latest cohort of the Catalyst Fund accelerator program are from Kenya (2), Nigeria (1), South Africa (2) and India (1).

Meet the startups:

1.) Pesakit – Kenya-based app for mobile money agents

2.) Kwara – Kenya-based online and mobile banking platform for Savings + Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs)

3.) Cowrywise – savings and investment tool targeted toward Nigerian youth

4.) Meerkat – South Africa-based debt counselling and savings product

5.) farMart – India-based digital credit platform for farmers

6.) Spoon – South Africa-based savings and credit offering for women-owned, subsistence enterprises.

Following this announcement of the new cohort, the Catalyst Fund also disclosed that it has raised $15 million from UK Aid and JP Morgan to boost investment in early-stage fintech startups in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, India and Mexico.

Catalyst Fund is focusing on these markets because of their vibrant fintech industries which house a significant number of early-stage startups across Africa, Latin America and Asia, and the need to address critical challenges faced by local underserved consumers.

With the new funding support, Catalyst Fund will now select an annual cohort of 10 fintech startups in the countries of focus. The fintech startups selected will receive grant-funds and participate in a six-month accelerator program. The Catalyst Fund has already supported 25 fintech startups.

“We’re thrilled to enter the next phase of this journey, building on lessons learned over the last four years, to position ourselves as the best partners for innovators building affordable, accessible and appropriate solutions designed to improve the financial health of underserved populations in emerging markets,” said Catalyst Fund Director Maelis Carraro.

“The additional support from UK aid and continued support from J.P. Morgan will enable us to deepen our local footprints and ecosystem development role in each of our key markets, as well as welcome new partners that can support our mission.

“With the support of UK aid, Catalyst Fund is connecting more fintech start-ups in emerging African markets with expertise and investment from the UK and around the world,” said UK Minister for Africa Andrew Stephenson.

“This innovative work is crucial to changing the lives of people around the world by providing access to basic services like pensions, lending and health care. The UK-Africa Investment Summit will create more partnerships that will boost investment, jobs and growth to benefit both people and businesses across Africa and the UK.”

“Financial inclusion is the cornerstone of resilient communities and households,” said Carol Lake, Head of International Markets Philanthropy, J.P. Morgan.

“At J.P. Morgan, as part of our $125 million global commitment to financial health, we are supporting the development and growth of innovative fintech solutions that can help underserved people across the world save, reduce their debt and improve their lives.”

Musa Suleiman
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