Accion announced that its seed-stage investment initiative Accion Venture Lab is adding $33 million to its initial capital pool, with the launch of a new $23 million fund and an additional, separate $10 million 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.
"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."
"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."