Accion Venture Lab

Accion Venture Lab

Accion Venture Lab provides capital and extensive support to innovative, scalable fintech startups that improve the reach, quality, and affordability of financial services for the underserved.

Early-stage startups often lack access to the capital and support they need to grow. Accion’s seed-stage investment initiative, Accion Venture Lab, provides financial and post-investment support to address these needs. Investing since 2012, and backed by third party commercial and impact investors since the launch of our fund in 2019, we typically invest U.S. $500,000 in seed-stage startups and can continue to support companies as they grow through follow-on capital that drives scale. Accion Venture Lab is an active and engaged investor, creating value in our portfolio by providing investees with strategic and operational support across a broad range of functional areas.

We look for startups that are leveraging new technologies, data, and analytical tools to acquire, engage, and serve previously underserved individuals and small businesses. We like innovative customer engagement models that blend tech and touch to create seamless user experiences. We are excited about new approaches that focus on financial health and building financial capabilities as they provide critical products and services to consumers.

Accion Venture Lab portfolio

Accion Venture Lab partners

In addition to Accion’s capital contributions, Accion Venture Lab is backed by third party commercial and impact investors that share our commitment to seed-stage inclusive fintechs. Our fund’s Limited Partners include FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank; the Ford Foundation; the ImpactAssets Giving Fund of Blue Haven Initiative; Heifer Foundation; MetLife Foundation; Open Society Foundations; Pace Able Foundation; Proparco, the French Development Agency (AFD)’s private sector financing arm; Prudential Financial; Stichting Hivos-Triodos Fund, managed by Triodos Investment Management; and Visa Inc. (NYSE: V).

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Eligibility

Are you a financial inclusion startup?

Accion Venture Lab focuses on for-profit enterprises with new products or business models that expand the range of high-quality financial services for people living in poverty. Companies need not have significant revenue traction but should be post-research and development, have a full-time entrepreneur or team in place, and, ideally, have a pilot or prototype in the market. We are focused on opportunities in India and East Africa but will invest globally if the team and idea are right.

We are particularly interested in:

  • Mobile phone–based financial services or business models built on mobile payment platforms;
  • Specialized credit assessment or delivery models (e.g., underwriting/credit scoring approaches, housing, education, small and medium enterprise finance, energy);
  • Online or social media platforms for enabling financial access (e.g., peer-to-peer, social media);
  • Pay-as-you-go, collaborative consumption, and other “embedded” financial service models (e.g., micro-leasing, rent-to-own, modular housing); and
  • New products (e.g., savings, remittances/payments, microinsurance, and credit) for people living in poverty.

 

 

 

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