Catalyst Fund has announced the eighth cohort of its inclusive fintech accelerator, providing grant funding and support to six fintech solutions from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
Launched in 2015, Catalyst Fund, managed by BFA Global, is a global accelerator that supports inclusive fintech innovators and facilitates the growth of innovation ecosystems in emerging markets.
Its flagship inclusive fintech accelerator is supported by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and JPMorgan Chase & Co., and fiscally sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.
Six African fintech startups have been selected to take part in the programme, including three from Kenya. They are Lami, which provides an insurance platform and API that enables more individuals and businesses to access insurance coverage; Koa, which enables users of existing tech solutions to more easily save and invest; and Power, which enables gig and salaried workers to easily access earned wages, loans, insurance, payments and contribute to savings via partner banks.
Also selected are Nigeria’s Indicina, which facilitates lending for individuals and small businesses through AI-powered digital credit infrastructure and credit underwriting services; Ghana’s Jetstream, which enables businesses to efficiently and affordably export goods across borders and access trade financing; and South Africa’s Kandua, which empowers skilled home service professionals with greater access to customers, professional tools and digital financial services.
The startups, five of which have female founders or co-founders, will join Catalyst Fund’s existing portfolio of 37 companies and receive GBP80,000 (US$110,000) in grant capital, bespoke and expert-led venture building support from BFA Global, and one-on-one connections with investors and corporate innovators that can help them scale.
“Today, fintech is rapidly evolving to the point where it’s no longer a standalone vertical. Embedded finance offerings have the potential to significantly improve the value of products in adjacent sectors, while finding new ways to better reach and serve low-income individuals via touchpoints they already know and trust,” said Maelis Carraro, Catalyst Fund’s managing director.
“We’re particularly excited about the solutions put forward by this innovative cohort of companies, many of whom are led or co-led by incredible women leaders. They have the potential to really expand the reach of digital financial services by testing new business models and by building the tech infrastructure layers needed to embed financial products in other services.”