African fintech dominates Catalyst Fund’s 2019 startup cohort

TechCrunch | 6/21/2019 | Staff
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African fintech has taken center stage for the Catalyst Fund, a JP Morgan Chase and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-backed accelerator that provides mentorship and non-equity funding to emerging markets startups.

The organization announced its 2019 startup cohort and three out of the four finance ventures — Chipper Cash, Salutat and Turaco — have an Africa focus (Brazil-based venture Diin, was the fourth).

Catalyst - Fund - Tech - Firm - BFA

Catalyst Fund, which is managed by global tech consulting firm BFA, also released its latest evaluation report, which showed 60% of the organization’s portfolio startups are located in Africa.

The new additions to the fund’s program will gain $50,000 to $60,000 in non-equity venture building support (as Catalyst Fund dubs it) and six months of technical assistance. The funds and support are aimed at moving the ventures to the next phase of catalyzing business models, generating revenue and connecting to global VCs.

Kind - Help - Companies - Market - Fit

“We really tailor the kind of help we give to companies so they can reach market fit and proof points that investors want to see to enable the next phase of growth,” BFA Deputy Director Maelis Carraro told TechCrunch.

Catalyst Fund’s 2019 startup cohort also gained exposure to the fund’s Circle of Investors — a network of impact and commercial backers who can make decisions on investing in and accelerating particular companies.

Thing - Deciens - Capital - Group - Investors

Next Big Thing and Deciens Capital recently joined the group of 40 investors that includes Techstars and the Mastercard Foundation.

The tenor for support for Catalyst Fund’s newest cohort of startups lasts through 2019. The ventures will also attend the big SOCAP 2019 tech conference in San Francisco, where Catalyst organizes workshops and meetings with its Circle of Investors.

Catalyst - Fund - Mandate - Fintech - Startups

Founded in 2016, the Catalyst Fund’s mandate includes supporting fintech startups that are developing solutions for low-income individuals in emerging markets. The organization has accelerated 20 ventures in Africa, Asia and Latin...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TechCrunch
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