Connect with us

Fintech

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

Published

on

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

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

Fintech

Wirex Launches Enhanced Cryptoback™

Published

on

Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Today, payments platform Wirex launched a supercharged update of their revolutionary Cryptoback™ rewards programme. Customers can now earn up to 1.5% back in Bitcoin on Wirex Visa card purchases.

Released in 2018, Cryptoback™ was the world’s first rewards programme that paid out 0.5% in cryptocurrency for all in-store spending with the Wirex Visa card. Thanks to the recent launch of the Wirex Token (WXT), customers can now triple the amount of BTC they earn – making investing in cryptocurrency easier than ever before.

Depending on the amount of WXT held, in-store Wirex card purchases now generate up to 1.5% in Bitcoin. There are three levels of crypto rewards available:

  • 500,000 WXT = 1.5% Cryptoback™
  • 100,000 WXT = 1.0% Cryptoback™
  • 50,000 WXT = 0.75% Cryptoback™

Wirex have calculated that the average UK consumer stands to earn more than £300 in Cryptoback™ every year, just by using their Wirex Visa card for day-to-day spending. Unlike many other cashback programmes, Wirex doesn’t impose restrictions on what customers can do with their rewards. Cryptoback™ can be redeemed instantly into their Bitcoin accounts, or quickly and easily exchanged into fiat for spending.

Enhanced Cryptoback™ is just one of the ways that holding Wirex Tokens allows customers to get even more out of their account. They can also enjoy heavily discounted fees based on the same structure, with access to premium products, merchant offers and airport lounges coming soon. As Wirex co-founder Pavel Matveev explains:

“We created the Wirex Token to be something that provides tangible value and benefits for holders beyond its market trajectory. Enhanced Cryptoback™ is the perfect example of this, as it allows customers to earn and invest in digital currency with a minimum of fuss. We’re looking forward to introducing even more benefits for WXT holders soon.”

 

SOURCE Wirex

Continue Reading

Fintech

Aegis Capital Corp. is pleased to announce its commitment to Equity Research

Published

on

Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Aegis Capital Corp. continues to expand its equity research platform with the addition of Benjamin Zucker and James Jang. Benjamin joined in May 2019 as Head of Specialty Finance and James joined in June 2019 to head up the Maritime & Special Situations. These new coverage areas will bolster Aegis’ existing research footprint in the Internet/TMT and Healthcare sectors.

Mr. Zucker joined Aegis from BTIG LLC, where he was a Director and lead analyst covering Mortgage REITs and real estate finance companies. Prior to BTIG, Mr. Zucker was a Vice President at JMP Securities LLC where he covered similar sectors. Benjamin began his career in equity research at Pritchard Capital Partners. At Aegis, Mr. Zucker’s coverage will span across several Specialty Finance sub-sectors including Mortgage REITs, Equity REITs, Business Development Companies (BDCs) and Financial Technology firms (FinTech). Benjamin’s current coverage list includes: Medalist Diversified REIT (MDRR), Sachem Capital Corp. (SACH), and Saratoga Investment Corp. (SAR).

Mr. Jang joined Aegis from Maxim Group LLC, where he was a Senior Vice President and lead analyst covering the Industrials, Infrastructure and Clean-Technology sectors. Previously, Mr. Jang was a senior analyst at Sidoti & Co. covering furniture and textiles and was an equity research associate at Canaccord Genuity covering Maritime and Upstream E&P companies. Since joining, Mr. Jang has expanded Aegis’ research platform into the Agriculture, Oilfield Services, and Industrial Technology sectors with coverage of Profire Energy (PFIE), Marrone Bio Innovations (MBII), Yield10 Bioscience (YTEN) and Sigma Labs (SGLB).

Michael Pata Aegis’ Head of Business Development commented: “Hiring Benjamin and James continues to show Aegis’ commitment to equity research, which brings institutional quality analysis to the small and mid-cap universe.”

 

SOURCE Aegis Capital

Continue Reading

Fintech

LexinFintech Announces US$300 Million Private Placement of Convertible Notes with PAG

Published

on

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

LexinFintech Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: LX) (“Lexin” or the “Company”), a leading fintech platform for educated young adults in China, today announced that it has entered into a convertible note purchase agreement with PAG, a leading Asia-focused private equity firm with over US$30 billion in capital under management, pursuant to which the Company will issue and sell convertible notes in an aggregate principal amount of US$300 million to PAG through a private placement. The private placement is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions and is expected to close on or around September 16, 2019. The gross proceeds raised from this placement will be approximately US$296.4 million.

The convertible notes will mature in seven years, bearing interest at a rate of 2.0% per annum. The notes will be convertible into fully paid Class A ordinary shares of the Company or ADSs at a conversion price of US$14 per ADS at the holder’s option from the date that is six months after the issuance date.  The holder of the notes will have the right to require the Company to repurchase for cash all or any portion of the notes on the fourth anniversary of the issuance date.

At closing, the Company will appoint to its Board of Directors one person designated by PAG.

Mr. Jay Wenjie Xiao, Founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the Company, said, “We are excited to have PAG as our new investor. This investment will enable Lexin to further develop and enhance our consumption-based ecosystem, improve product offerings to our educated adult customers, continue to invest in technology, build up additional consumption scenarios, and provide more consumer benefits to our customers.”

“PAG has a strong commitment to and deep understanding of China’s financial services industry, and we have a demonstrated track record of seeking out and engaging with the industry’s leading companies,” said PAG Chairman & CEO Weijian Shan. “Lexin has an unparalleled platform for meeting young consumers’ credit needs while strictly controlling and minimizing credit risks, which makes it unique, and we are looking forward to supporting the company as it embarks on its next stage of growth.”

Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C., BofA Merrill Lynch and China Renaissance acted as the private placement agents to Lexin on the transaction.

 

SOURCE LexinFintech Holdings Ltd.

Continue Reading

Trending

Thefintechbuzz is a news publishing website which digests / hand picks the latest news about the financial industry industry, and serves them to you daily.

Contact us: pressroom@thefintechbuzz.com

© Thefintechbuzz.com 2019 - part of PICANTE Media. All rights reserved. Registered in Romania under Proshirt SRL, Company number: 2134306, EU VAT ID: RO21343605. Office address: Blvd. 1 Decembrie 1918 nr.5, Targu Mures, Romania