Fintech accelerator Catalyst Fund has received a $15 million funding commitment from UK aid and JP Morgan to support the growth of 30 startups in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, India and Mexico over the next three years.
Catalyst Fund, which is managed by BFA Global and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, has also announced the latest group of inclusive fintech startups to receive its backing, including Kenya-based Pesakit and Kwara, Nigeria’s Cowrywise, Meerkat and Spoon of South Africa, and Farmart from India.
With the additional investment from the UK Department for International Development and banking giant J.P. Morgan, which recently posted Q4 profits of $2.9 billion, Catalyst Fund will support the development, growth and reach of 30 new fintech solutions to boost financial inclusion for an additional one million people in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, India and Mexico.
Catalyst Fund is focusing on these markets because of their emerging fintech industries, which house a significant number of early-stage startups across Africa, Latin America and Asia, and the need to address critical challenges faced by local underserved consumers.
This new commitment will enable the programme to focus on providing pre-seed capital and bespoke venture building support, broadening the pool of investors who receive 1:1 connections with Catalyst Fund companies, and sharing best practices toolkits, learnings and insights with the global fintech community to spur innovation across markets.
UK minister for Africa Andrew Stephenson described fintech development as “crucial to changing the lives of people around the world by providing access to basic services like pensions, lending and health care”.
“Financial inclusion is the cornerstone of resilient communities and households,” continued Carol Lake, head of international markets philanthropy at JP Morgan. “At JP Morgan, as part of our $125 million global commitment to financial health, we are supporting the development and growth of innovative fintech solutions that can help underserved people across the world save, reduce their debt and improve their lives.”