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Accion Venture Lab Launches New Fund, Quadruples Capital for Inclusive Fintech Startups

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Today, global nonprofit Accion announced that its seed-stage investment initiative Accion Venture Lab is adding $33M to its initial capital pool, with the launch of a new $23M fund and an additional, separate $10M investment from Accion. The new fund brings together a group of third-party impact and commercial investors that share Venture Lab’s commitment to innovative fintech startups that leverage technology to increase the reach, quality, and affordability of financial services for the underserved at scale.

Launched in 2012 with $10 million in capital, Accion Venture Lab has emerged as a leader in fintech impact investing at the seed stage. To date, millions of people and small businesses around the world have benefitted from services provided by Venture Lab portfolio companies, and many of those companies have gone on to achieve substantial scale thanks to Venture Lab’s catalytic capital. For every dollar Accion Venture Lab has invested, its portfolio companies have raised an additional $13 in equity capital from later-stage investors.

“Despite progress, three billion people still have no safe or simple way to save money, get a loan to build a business, pay a bill, or protect their health and property with insurance,” said Michael Schlein, President and CEO of Accion. “Fintech startups are finding new ways to provide products and services that help these underserved people. Yet often startups lack the capital and strategic support they need to grow and scale their impact. Accion Venture Lab addresses this need.”

Inclusive fintech startups face the same significant entrepreneurial challenges as other startups, as well as additional challenges: a highly competitive sector, constantly evolving regulations that vary across markets, challenges building the right team, and tight margins. To address these needs, Venture Lab — typically the first institutional investor in its portfolio companies — provides both capital and extensive strategic and operational support across a broad range of functional areas.

“We’re seeing substantial growth in the amount of investment capital available for fintech startups from what we saw when Accion Venture Lab launched in 2012, but money isn’t enough,” said Venture Lab Managing Director Tahira Dosani. “Capital must be paired with strategic and operational support that is informed by a deep knowledge of the sector, target customer, and a deliberate focus on how new technologies can help the underserved build better lives. We can accelerate the growth trajectories of companies through our capital plus approach to investing.”

“There is strong potential for inclusive fintech startups to reach historically underserved communities while generating returns, and the oversubscription of the Accion Venture Lab fund is great validation of our early work investing in more than 40 innovative businesses operating in 30 markets,” said Venture Lab Managing Director Vikas Raj. “This new pool of capital enables us to scale our efforts and remain at the forefront of seed stage investing in inclusive fintech.”

Investors in Accion Venture Lab now 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).

The Venture Lab portfolio focuses on an evolving set of key trends within the fintech space that offer the greatest potential to reach underserved communities. Today, those include insurtech, agricultural finance, digital lending, holistic MSME finance solutions, and personal financial management. Ultimately, these companies support entrepreneurship, resilience in farming, gig economy and migrant workers, healthcare, transportation, and education.

Venture Lab also partners with philanthropic organizations whose support enables it to provide specialized and extensive strategic and operational support to its portfolio companies and to invest at the higher-risk pre-seed stage in pursuit of its mission to reach the underserved.

As Accion’s seed-stage investment initiative, Venture Lab is one component of the organization’s approach to developing the inclusive fintech ecosystem to better meet the needs of the world’s three billion financially underserved. Other elements of this strategy include Accion’s partnership with Quona Capital — a leading growth stage venture firm focused on fintech for inclusion in emerging markets — and Accion’s work with industry initiatives like the Inclusive Fintech 50, which elevates early-stage fintechs addressing financial inclusion.

Note to reporters: Accion Venture Lab launched in 2012 with $10 million in capital. It will now invest an additional$33M — $10M from Accion and $23M from a coinvestment vehicle with third party funds, bringing Venture Lab’s total capital under management to $43M, more than four times the initial amount.

 

SOURCE Accion

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Broadridge Brings Together Wealth Business Under Michael Alexander

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Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: BR), a global Fintech leader and part of the S&P 500® Index, today announced that Michael Alexander has been appointed President, Wealth Management. In this newly created position, he will be responsible for bringing together Broadridge’s Wealth solutions into an integrated, market-leading Wealth Management business that will uniquely address Wealth Management firms’ need to transform their technology and business models. Mr. Alexander will report directly to Tom Carey, President of Global Technology and Operations.

“Mike is a recognized leader in the financial services industry and has a passion for creating leading-edge, SaaS-based wealth management solutions,” said Mr. Carey. “Mike will drive Broadridge’s efforts to enhance the advisor and client experience through a single platform that will be a foundation for the industry.”

As President of Broadridge’s Wealth Management business, Mr. Alexander will take leadership of the Broadridge Wealth Platform, the next-generation open platform that is creating a modern, best-in-class industry-level wealth management technology solution. This platform, which is at the center of a recently announced sale to UBS, enables wealth managers to drive their business to the next level while mutualizing investments in technology, innovation and security. With the Broadridge Wealth Platform, firms will be able to deploy an integrated front-, middle-, and back-office solution that optimizes Financial Advisor productivity, creates a richer client experience and digitizes enterprise-wide operationsBroadridge Wealth Management also offers market-leading component solutions for Advisor Websites, Data Aggregation, Performance Reporting, Corporate Actions, and back- and middle-office Managed Services, among others.

Since joining Broadridge in 2006, Mr. Alexander has taken on roles of increasing responsibility in both technology platforms and managed services. In these roles, he has led numerous complex client engagements and successful acquisitions.

Prior to joining Broadridge, Mr. Alexander was Senior Vice President of Operations at Charles Schwab. He is a member of the SIFMA Operations and Technology Steering Committee.

 

SOURCE Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.

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Bajaj Housing Finance Limited Bags the BFSI Digital Innovation Awards 2020 for Cloud Solutions

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Bajaj Housing Finance Limited (BHFL), a 100% subsidiary of Bajaj Finance Limited, has won the ‘BFSI Digital Innovation Award’ for Cloud Solutions at the recently held Express BFSI Technology Conclave and Awards 2020.

Organised by the Express Computer, an IT business magazine from the Indian Express Group, the BFSI Technology Conclave and Awards, is one of the largest congregation of IT decision-makers, senior executives and partners in India. The event, held in Pune from January 24th-25th, 2020 witnessed the best from the BFSI sector participate as speakers and share their views on the way ahead for one of the biggest financial markets in the world.

The conclave ended with the BFSI Digital Innovation Awards which were given away to Indian Banks or Indian subsidiaries of MNC BFSI institutions in the BFSI industry that demonstrate the innovative use of a particular technology or a combination of technologies for distinct business benefit. There were 13 distinct categories – like Big Data, Enterprise Mobility, Data Center, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, Enterprise Security, Blockchain and Enterprise Application among others.

The participants were judged on their effectiveness of deploying a completely new solution or innovative use of existing technology to gain a competitive edge, improve operations, become more responsive to customers and partners or, simply, to add to the top or bottom line.

Sharing his delight at the occasion of winning the award for excellence in Cloud, Atul Jain, Chief Executive Officer- Bajaj Housing Finance Limited said, “It is indeed a proud moment for all of us at BHFL and would like to congratulate the entire team for helping us achieve this prestigious recognition at the Express BFSI Digital Innovation Awards 2020. Since inception, our core mission has always revolved around providing the best experience for our customers through innovation and customer engagement.”

 

SOURCE Bajaj Housing Finance Limited

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LiteLink Technologies Subsidiary uBUCK Technologies Completes Second Tranche of Private Placement to Fuel Growth

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LiteLink Technologies Inc. (“LiteLink”) (CSE:LLT)(OTC:LLNKF)(FRA:C0B), a key player in logistics platforms and payment solutions, is pleased to announce that its subsidiary uBUCK Technologies SEZC (“uBUCK”) has closed the second tranche of a non-brokered, non-dilutive private placement previously announced on September 23, 2019.

Under the second tranche, uBUCK issued 1,000,000 preferred shares at a price of US$0.50 per share for gross proceeds of US$500,000. Under the terms of the offering, uBUCK expects an additional minimum investment of US$1,500,000 will be made in exchange for 3,000,000 preferred shares at a price of US$0.50 per share by June 30, 2020.  The investor will also have the option to invest an additional US$2,500,000 for a total of 8,000,000 preferred shares at a price of US$0.50 per share by September 30, 2021.

Along with the first tranche closing announced September 30, 2019, uBUCK has now raised a total of US$900,000.

uBUCK intends to use the gross proceeds of the private placement to complete the development of the uBUCK and Streambucks digital wallets, accelerate growth, increase customer acquisitions, and conduct additional product testing.

Because the private placement was made directly into a subsidiary of LiteLink, it is non-dilutive to LiteLink shareholders. The transaction is subject to all necessary regulatory and stock exchange approval.

The preferred shares come with first rights to dividends of 6% (of the amount invested) and first claims to assets up to the investment in case of liquidation. Upon closing of this tranche, the investor will own 3.6% of uBUCK.

 

SOURCE LiteLink Technologies Inc.

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