Village Capital, Accion Venture Lab, and the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth Select 12 Startups to Boost Local Economy

Program will increase access to financial services for local communities; top two ventures will win $50,000 each

January 26, 2015 (Mexico City, Mexico)—Village Capital, in partnership with Accion Venture Lab and the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth, has selected 12 of the best startups operating in Mexico to increase access to financial services for their accelerator program, Village Capital-Accion Venture Lab: FinTech Mexico 2015.

The selected startups are developing financial technologies that include a mobile money transfer app, a savings plan for healthcare, a p2p lending platform, and other services that offer alternatives to more traditional and more expensive financial services. Village Capital-Accion Venture Lab: FinTech Mexico 2015 supports these local entrepreneurs through business development training, mentorship from local investors and business leaders, and events where the entrepreneurs can meet potential customers and learn about market needs.

At the end of the program, the two startups ranked highest by the other entrepreneurs in the group will each receive $50,000 USD in capital from Village Capital and Pomona Impact to help scale their businesses and impact. The participating ventures in the program aim to create 100 jobs, provide approximately 200,000 low-income Mexicans with greater access to financial services, and help the program participants raise up to $1.4M in investment capital and demonstrate 250% revenue growth.

The program consists of three intensive, week-long sessions over three months. The first session is on February 20 in Mexico City.

The selected companies include:

  • Aspiria provides on demand working capital loans to microbusinesses.
  • Banlinea sells software to financial institutions that allows them to offer online credit applications and integrated credit applications on e-commerce sites.
  • BillPocket offers microentrepreneurs (and large corporations) a mobile point of sale.
  • Chapulin sells money transfer services to Mexican immigrants in the United States.
  • ComproPago enables e-commerce platforms to accept cash payments.
  • Credilikeme sells short-term loans to Facebook users.
  • El Buen Socio provides affordable loans with flexible payment plans to socially and environmentally impactful entrepreneurs.
  • Kiwi enables patients who can neither afford healthcare services upfront nor have access to affordable credit.
  • Netero sells retail store credit, pre-paid cell phone minutes, and enables bill payments for utilities.
  • Volabit is an online wallet for Bitcoin and pesos that users can deposit into with cash at corner stores.
  • yotepresto.com is a p2p lending platform. Borrowers in Mexico face very high interest rates from financial institutions.
  • Zave App helps people build savings and avoid interest payments by making saving easy and fun.

The complete session dates are:

Session 1: February 20-23

Session 2: March 25-28

Session 3: April 22-25

 

About Village Capital

Village Capital sources, trains and invests in seed-stage social entrepreneurs around the world. Village Capital recruits entrepreneurs solving specific problems in agriculture, energy, education, financial inclusion, and health, and then puts the power of investment in the hands of the entrepreneurs, who award the prize investments to the two ventures ranked highest by their peers at the end of every program. The organization’s unique peer-selection model and curriculum were awarded McKinsey/Harvard Business Review’s prestigious M-Prize for innovation in 2013. Since 2009, Village Capital has supported 400 enterprises across 27 accelerator programs in 7 countries over the past 4 years, screening 10,000 companies, with enterprises reaching 6 million customers, creating 5,000 jobs, and raising $80 million.

 

About Accion Venture Lab

Accion Venture Lab is the leading seed-stage investment firm for financial inclusion. Accion Venture Lab, since inception in 2012, has invested in 15 enterprises and screened nearly 1,000 companies in the financial inclusion space. V-Lab is part of Accion, a world pioneer in microfinance who over the last 40 years has helped build 63 microfinance institutions (MFIs) in 32 countries on four continents. Four of V-Lab’s 15 investments work in Mexico, and Accion has worked actively in the Mexican market for the last 2 decades, including an early investment in microfinance leader Compartamos.

 

About The MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth

The MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth was created to foster collaborative relationships between academia, governments, nonprofits, the social design community, and the private sector.  Through the advancement of research and strategic philanthropic investments, the Center will support and enable those historically excluded from financial services and serve as a catalyst for change.

 

About Pomona Impact

Pomona Impact makes investments in Small Growing Businesses across Mexico, Central America, and Ecuador.  In particular, it targets firms that improve the lives of people living in the bottom of the economic pyramid and benefit the environment.  Pomona Impact seek to add value to portfolio companies through strategic advisory, financial structuring, and introductions to potential partners, and also actively seeks to build the entrepreneurial ecosystems in its target region by developing co-working spaces with substantial skill-building programming.  They have launched two co-working spaces in Guatemala and intend to develop additional co-working projects in Central America.

 

Press Inquiries

Kate McCrery: kate@vilcap.com

Program Inquiries

Amanda Jacobson: amanda@vilcap.com