Vikas Raj was Managing Director of Accion Venture Lab, Accion’s seed-stage investment initiative in fintech for the underserved. Venture Lab invests capital in, and provides support to, innovative fintech startups that increase access to, improve the quality of, or reduce the cost of financial services for the underserved at scale. Vikas led Venture Lab’s investment work, in addition to managing portfolio relationships and driving the strategy and growth of Venture Lab.
As part of his role, Vikas was the host of VentureKast, Venture Lab’s podcast series featuring fintech for inclusion entrepreneurs from around the world, and was an Adjunct Professor of financial inclusion at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He has served as a Board member or observer for AYE Finance, CreditMantri, Konfio, First Circle, Self Lender, SMECorner, StreetShares, and Tienda Pago.
Prior to joining Accion, Vikas was an M&A investment banker at Evercore Partners, where he advised on multiple corporate transactions with aggregate value of over $45 billion across the technology, real estate, consumer products, and industrials sectors. Previously, he worked in the microfinance space, primarily in India, as an early employee at Ujjivan and ASA International, both of which are now publicly traded companies. At Ujjivan, Vikas co-led the establishment of the firm’s first lending branches in Delhi and helped lead the firm’s Series B financing round. At ASA, Vikas was responsible for establishing and investing in the fund’s greenfield MFIs in India, Nigeria, and the Philippines. Vikas started his career in the corporate strategy group at Deloitte Consulting.
Vikas has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia University.