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Accion Quona Inclusion Fund hits $203m final close

Anna Lyudvig
March 11, 2020, 10 p.m.

Word count: 374

Quona Capital, a venture firm focused on financial inclusion in emerging markets, has announced the final close of the Accion Quona Inclusion Fund with $203m in commitments, significantly exceeding its $150m target.

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Quona Capital, a venture firm focused on financial inclusion in emerging markets, has announced the final close of the Accion Quona Inclusion Fund with $203m in commitments, significantly exceeding its $150m target.

With the close of this Fund, Quona Capital has $363m in AUM.

The investors included global asset managers and insurance companies, investment and commercial banks, as well as university endowments, foundations, family offices, and development finance institutions.

Quona focuses on scale-up stage financial technology companies that are expanding access to financial services for underserved consumers and small businesses in Latin America, Africa, India and Southeast Asia.

Monica Brand Engel, Quona Capital co-founder and partner, said: “Our fund performance, robust pipeline of inclusive fintechs, and growing LP interest are a ringing endorsement of our thesis about the power of emerging market venture capital.”

“This oversubscribed fund represents a significant milestone for financial inclusion and the impact investing industry,” she said.

Engel added: “Our portfolio of promising business models promoting financial inclusion in emerging markets demonstrates the connection between profit and purpose. Fintech for inclusion brings marginalized consumers and small businesses to the mainstream and can inspire even more entrepreneurial problem-solving in traditionally underserved communities.” 

Quona leverages a strategic relationship with Accion, a non-profit financial inclusion pioneer, which is the Fund’s sponsor, general partner, and anchor investor.

“Access to a full range of high quality, affordable financial services is the bedrock that underpins social and economic development, gender equality, resilience, and livelihoods. By harnessing the power of the capital markets and the digital technologies that enable better, faster, and cheaper ways to meet the needs of the underserved, this fund will serve as a catalyst toward meeting those goals,” said Michael Schlein, President and CEO of Accion.

Quona got its start at Accion before becoming an independent venture firm in 2015.

To date, the Fund has invested in the following African companies: Lulalend, a digital SME working capital lender that provides loans to South Africa's "missing middle" in credit, or those businesses too large to access microfinance and too small to secure large capital loans; and Sokowatch, a platform that puts the power of e-commerce into the hands of informal retailers in East Africa through last mile delivery, fit-for-purpose financing and data analytics.

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