The global inclusive tech accelerator has also announced its latest cohort of companies bringing inclusive fintech solutions to underserved communities.
Global inclusive tech accelerator Catalyst
Fund, managed by BFA
Global, today announced its ninth cohort of fintech
companies that are building solutions designed to improve the resilience of
underserved customers and communities. The Catalyst Fund Inclusive Fintech
program also welcomes PayPal as a new supporter, as
it explores the role of digital finance in enabling climate resilience with
select companies over the next two cohorts. PayPal joins existing supporters the
UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and JPMorgan
Chase & Co.
“We are extremely excited to welcome PayPal as the latest supporter of the
Catalyst Fund, and to announce an additional focus on digital finance solutions
for climate resilience,” said Maelis Carraro, managing director of the
Catalyst Fund. “Climate change is already severely impacting low-income
populations in emerging markets, who lack financial safety nets to cope with
these additional shocks. Digital finance can be a game-changer in enabling
to better reach vulnerable populations; we’ve already seen the ways in which it
can enhance the breadth, depth, and affordability of solutions across
industries. We look forward to exploring this space and continuing to build the
resilience of vulnerable populations across emerging markets via fintech
The companies joining the ninth Inclusive Fintech cohort are:
Crop2Cash (Nigeria): Unlocks
affordable financing for smallholder farmers and provides digital finance
solutions along the agriculture value chain, increasing efficiency and
Emerging Regenerative Finance Models
Join us as leaders from Ganaz, the International Living Future Institute and more share insights on alternative capital structures and financial instruments that seek to both maximize purpose and service the interests of all stakeholders, at SB’21 San Diego — October 18-21.
HealthDart (South Africa): Offers
easy and affordable access to medication and primary health services via
pharmacies, to patients in low-income areas.
Kazi (Kenya): Connects skilled and casual
informal workers with jobs on demand and provides them with access to
business advisory and financial services such as digital payments and tools
Ohm Mobility (India): Offers affordable
financing for informal workers to purchase electric and ICE three-wheel
vehicles via a pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) model.
PocketFin (India): Enables access to
digital financial services (savings and insurance) for nearly one million
people in tier 2-4+ cities via a network of 4,500+ women agents.
Verqor (Mexico): Offers affordable
agro-financing and access to agricultural inputs via a digital platform
catered to smallholder farmers.
These companies will join Catalyst Fund’s existing portfolio of 45
companies that receive
catalytic capital, bespoke and expert-led venture building support from BFA
Global, and direct connections with investors and corporate innovators that can
help them scale. Catalyst Fund will begin to explore the opportunity for
inclusive fintech innovators to enhance the climate resilience of vulnerable
populations with select members of this and the following cohorts, to create
more resilient and sustainable economies.
PayPal is already working to improve the financial wellbeing and health of its
US workforce through the Worker Financial Wellness
and to accelerate small-business recovery and inclusive growth efforts in
Latin America as part of the Tech for Good
Its support of the Catalyst Fund will help broaden its reach to underserved,
climate-impacted communities and businesses worldwide.
“At PayPal, we believe that financial technology can help underserved
individuals and communities build resilience to climate-related disasters and
capture economic opportunities in the global climate transition,” said chief
corporate affairs officer Franz Paasche. “We are proud to partner with
Catalyst Fund to support these innovative startups at the forefront of
developing new tools and technologies focused on the intersection of financial
inclusion and climate resilience.”
Underserved communities in emerging markets are the most vulnerable and exposed
to the impact of climate
though they contribute the least to harmful emissions. These populations tend to
rely on the physical environment for their livelihoods and domestic food
consumption, are more likely to live in climate disaster-prone areas, and have
more of their wealth in physical assets prone to destruction during
climate-related disasters. These populations are also most likely to be excluded
from formal financial services and lack social or financial safeguards.
Worsening climate change impacts can therefore push households and small
businesses further back into poverty and exacerbate their vulnerability.
“In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, this new accelerator cohort has unique
potential to transform the financial lives of people in hard-hit communities
across the world,” said Sarah Willis Ertur, director of financial health at
JPMorgan Chase**.** “Helping ensure that these individuals have access to
fintech tools that can advance their financial health is key for an inclusive
A truly sustainable economy will be one that is inclusive and accessible to all.
The growing recognition of this in the past few years has spawned targeted
efforts by the finance industry — including CNote’s Wisdom
and CapStone Holdings’ GameAbove
and greater corporate support of community-development finance
— to make finance itself more
by embracing previously underserved
To date, Catalyst Fund has raised more than $247 million in follow-on funding
and reached over 6.5 million low-income customers.