Catalyst Fund adds six FinTechs to cohort after funding push

Catalyst Fund has received a new £12m commitment from UK aid and J.P. Morgan to help it bring financial inclusion for underserved people around the world.

Across the next three years, the FinTech accelerator is looking to support the growth of 30 additional startups across five markets, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, India and Mexico.

The firm has also announced the six new companies to make its programme. The first of the new startups is Kenya-based Pesakit, a mobile app which enables consumers to get access to mobile money.

Fellow Kenyan FinTech Kwara is also in the new cohort. The startup offers online and mobile banking services for savings and credit cooperatives. Businesses can use the technology to build a user-friendly interface, log events in real-time and provide dashboards to accounts.

Cowrywise is a Nigerian FinTech which is aimed at younger generations and gives them a savings and investment app. A user can build a financial plan and create a portfolio of investments which will help them achieve this.

One of the South African FinTechs in the new cohort is Meerkat, a debt counselling and savings solution. The company also offers insurance and savings services.

Spoon is the second South African FinTech. It offers savings and credit options to women-owned businesses. A business owner can het a 30-day loan to help with cash flow.

Finally, Farmart is an India-based digital credit platform for farmers.

Catalyst Fund director Maelis Carraro said, “We’re thrilled to enter the next phase of this journey, building on lessons learned over the last four years, to position ourselves as the best partners for innovators building affordable, accessible and appropriate solutions designed to improve the financial health of underserved populations in emerging markets.

“The additional support from UK aid and continued support from J.P. Morgan will enable us to deepen our local footprints and ecosystem development role in each of our key markets, as well as welcome new partners that can support our mission.”

The Catalyst Fund was established in 2016 with the support of J.P. Morgan and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Its goal is to help build solutions that improve financial health of underserved communities. To date, the group has backed a total of 25 FinTech startup.

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