• Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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‘Inclusive Fintech 50’ to raise capital for 50 early-stage Fintechs driving financial inclusion

MetLife Foundation

MetLife Foundation and Visa Inc., with global non-profit Accion and World Bank Group member, IFC, have announced the launch inaugural list to help Fintech companies attract capital and resources to benefit the 3 billion financially underserved people globally.

Launched in February 2019, the ‘Inclusive Fintech 50’, a competition organised to help early-stage Fintech companies who are driving financial inclusion to attract capital and resources.

The 50 winners were selected from nearly 400 eligible applicants who demonstrate the power of financial technology to expand access, usage, and quality of financial services in advanced and emerging markets.

Approximately 30 percent of the winners provide credit products to underserved segments including MSMEs, and approximately 25 percent offer infrastructure solutions like biometrics software that enable financial institutions to expand access to previously excluded groups.

Fintechs offering insurance, payments & remittances services, and savings & personal financial management tools each made up approximately 15 percent of the winners.

According to Marianne Mwaniki, Head of Social Impact at Visa, Inc., existing research indicates that investment capital has largely overlooked early-stage and inclusive Fintechs in several markets.

“This group of winners makes clear that there are high-potential start-ups with viable products and business models -and they’re ready for investment,” Mwaniki said.

A dive into the data from the by Accion revealed that nearly 70 percent of the winners are pre-Series A, yet the start-ups already exhibit strong product-market fit and traction, as demonstrated by their combined 8 million customers.

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In terms of geographic distribution, nearly one-third operate in more than one region, and another third operate exclusively in Sub-Saharan Africa.

A further probe into the data of the 50 Fintech companies showed that ACRE Africa (insurance), Apollo Agriculture (credit), Awamo (infrastructure), E-Settlement (infrastructure), Hello Paisa (payments & remittances), Inclusivity Solutions (insurance), Kwara (infrastructure), MaTontine (infrastructure), Numida (infrastructure), OZÉ (infrastructure), PEG Africa (credit), People’s Pension Trust (savings & personal financial management), Pezesha (credit), Pula (insurance), Riby (infrastructure) and Tulaa (credit) were the 16 start-ups from Sub-Saharan Africa that emerged winners among their global contenders.

“Inclusive Fintech 50 demonstrates that there are lesser-known fintechs able to reach underserved populations with appropriate financial products,” Sarah Willis, Director of Financial Health & Inclusion at MetLife Foundation said.

She added that they want “to support start-ups that are addressing the holistic needs of these target segments with the ultimate goal of improving their financial health.”

Meanwhile twenty percent of the selected Fintechs operate exclusively in South Asia, and 8 percent each in North America and East Asia & the Pacific. The remainder came from Latin America & the Caribbean and MENA.

 

Endurance Okafor