Washington, DC, February 14, 2016 – Accion Venture Lab, the seed-stage investment initiative of financial inclusion leader Accion, announced today that it has marked its second successful exit, further demonstrating the potential for early stage investments to generate social and financial returns. Venture Lab has sold its stake in Clip, a Palo Alto and Mexico City-based company that provides cost-effective and efficient digital payment solutions to the often financially underserved segment of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Mexico.
Clip combines a card reader plug-in for smartphones with an innovative back-end risk management platform to enable nearly any merchant in Mexico to accept all types of debit and credit cards. In doing so, it provides a pathway for small businesses to transition from cash-based systems to more efficient digital approaches that enable transactions that were previously too costly to be viable.
Venture Lab co-led the first institutional investment round in Clip in February 2013. As of December 2016, with Venture Lab’s active support, Clip has become one of Mexico’s largest digital payment solutions providers for MSMEs.
“After reviewing thousands of start-ups and working with the dozens of innovators in the Venture Lab portfolio, we’ve seen how creative and responsive fintech leaders like Clip can be in responding to the business challenges of the world’s underserved small businesses,” said Venture Lab Managing Director Vikas Raj. “We are honored to have been a part of Clip’s success in providing a pathway for small businesses to transition from cash-based systems to digital payment solutions that lower costs and enable them to serve more customers.”
“Accion Venture Lab was the first investor that trusted us with this crazy idea of bringing card-acquiring services to small businesses on every single corner in Mexico. Thanks to their initial support we are on our way to fulfilling our vision. It was a pleasure working with the Accion team,” said Adolfo Babatz, CEO and Co-Founder of Clip.
“Accion advances financial inclusion by investing in sustainable, scalable, well-managed companies that generate both social and economic returns,” said Accion President and CEO Michael Schlein. “Venture Lab’s second successful exit demonstrates the viability of achieving both profit and purpose by investing in early stage start-ups that promote high-quality financial services for underserved customers.”
Venture Lab is the world’s leading seed-stage investor in fintech for the underserved. Venture Lab invests capital in, and provides support to, innovative fintech start-ups that increase access to, improve the quality of, or reduce the cost of financial services for the underserved at scale. Since launching Venture Lab in 2012, Accion has deployed over US$10 million across more than 25 start-ups that work in over 20 countries worldwide.
Venture Lab announced its first successful exit from India-based lender Varthana in November 2016.
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Accion is a global nonprofit dedicated to building a financially inclusive world with economic opportunity for all, by giving people the financial tools they need to improve their lives. We are building the next generation of top-tier microfinance institutions, and over more than 50 years have helped build 65 such institutions in 32 countries on four continents that today reach millions of clients. Our impact investing initiatives are pushing beyond microfinance to catalyze more than 30 innovative start-ups dedicated to improving the efficiency, reach, and scope of financial services for the poor. And our Center for Financial Inclusion is helping to build a stronger industry with high standards and broad engagement. Currently, our work spans nearly two dozen countries, including the U.S., where we are the nation’s largest nonprofit microfinance network. For further information, visit http://www.accion.org.
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