IFC proposes to invest $12m in Accion Quona Inclusion Fund

IFC/World Bank HQ. Photo: IFC

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is proposing an equity investment of up to $12 million in Accion Quona Inclusion Fund, the second fund managed by venture capital firm Quona Capital.

In its disclosure, the IFC said the fund seeks to make equity or equity-equivalent investments in early- and growth-stage companies that develop or provide products, services, or technology to expand financial inclusion Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Accion Quona Inclusion Fund’s investment objective is to achieve financial returns and measurable social impact by making venture capital investments in rapidly scaling fintech companies that employ innovative business models to enhance financial inclusion for the underbanked and unbanked populations in emerging markets globally.

The proposed IFC commitment is in the form of equity up to $12 million.

“The fund will add value to its investee companies by providing access to VC capital in underserved markets mainly in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia,” the IFC said.

Investees may include providers of electronic payment services, challenger banking, innovative credit or insurance, and financial advisory, reaching unbanked and underserved individuals and businesses, it added.

About three billion people are left unserved or poorly served by the global financial system. According to the World Bank, only 46 per cent of adults in South Asia and 69 per cent of adults in East Asia and the Pacific (developing only) have a bank account.

Accion is a global nonprofit committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. It works closely with Quona Capital, a venture firm focused on financial technology for inclusion in emerging markets.

Accion Quona Inclusion Fund, launched in September with a target of $225 million, made a first close in October 2018 at $87.75 million. The first close attracted 14 commitments as the fund continues to invest in fintech startups with a focus on Asia, Latin, America, and emerging markets.

The first close comes 18 months after Accion and Quona raised $141 million for Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, which focuses on companies that provide financial services such as alternative credit, payments, insurance, and small and medium enterprise finance.

Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund received a $15-million commitment from the IFC.

In January, Quona Capital invested in Indonesian peer-to-peer lending platform KoinWorks through the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, marking Quona’s first investment in Indonesia. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.