Three African Fintech Startups Selected for Catalyst Fund’s Accelerator

fintech catalyst fund

  • Catalyst Fund selected three African fintech startups to participate in the latest cohort of its global inclusive fintech accelerator.
  • The accelerator, run by BFA Global, was founded in 2016 with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Each cohort startup was sourced and approved by seasoned fintech and emerging market investors who form the Investor Advisory Committee (IAC).

Three African fintech startups have been selected to participate in the latest cohort of the Catalyst Fund ‘s global inclusive fintech accelerator.

The three African firms are Nigeria’s WellaHealth and Flex Finance, as well as South Africa’s Paymenow.

They are part of a cohort of six startups that will each receive £80,000 in grant capital, as well as tailor-made and expert-led support for six-month venture building

Paymenow, founded last year by former Springbok rugby players Bryan Habana and Deon Nobrega, disclosed earlier this week that it had netted R4-million in investment.

The accelerator, run by BFA Global, was founded in 2016 with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and JPMorgan Chase & Co. It is also supported by UK assistance and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

WellaHealth’s platform provides accessible healthcare coverage to shield families from the financial shock caused by unforeseen health crises, including hospital cash during Covid-19.

This, while Flex Finance’s financial management tool enables micro and small businesses to digitize operations and build a digital presence that allows them to boost operations, operate digitally.

Paymenow is a financial wellness app that enables low-income workers to access portions of their earned wages before payday, providing access to much-needed liquidity while empowering them to avoid debt costs and dangers.

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The six companies, which includes two Mexican startups (Mango Life, Graviti) and an Indian startup (KarmaLife) joins the existing portfolio of 31 companies on Catalyst Fund.

In a statement yesterday, Catalyst Fund Director Maelis Carraro said that the current pandemic and crisis offer an opportunity to use technology to help low-income consumers and small businesses recover from the impact of Covid-19.

Commenting on the inclusion of the startups, Habana said: “The unencumbered grant funding helps us to expand our team in the short term as we look to hire a new one. More importantly, it gives Paymenow the validation we so vehemently defend as it pertains to our ‘business for good’ ethos”.

As far as the three remaining startups are concerned, Mexico’s Mango Life is a digital insurance network that offers affordable and usable health and life insurance policies for underserved individuals.

This, while Mexico-based Graviti offers a pay-as-you-go service that provides unbanked families with access to sustainable household infrastructure appliances through affordable financing so they can save money on it.

Lastly, KarmaLife is an India-based financial services suite that enables India’s increasing population of gig and critical services employees to smooth unstable cash flows, stabilise income and access savings and insurance.

Each cohort startup has been sourced and approved by the Investor Advisory Committee (IAC) of the Catalyst Fund, which includes seasoned fintech and emerging-market investors.

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