Accion launches $152.5m fund to back financial institutions serving small businesses

Accion launches $152.5m fund to back financial institutions serving small businesses

Photo from Accion's website

Accion, a global nonprofit, on Tuesday announced the launch of a $152.5 million fund to invest in financial institutions serving small businesses worldwide. 

The fund, called Accion Digital Transformation Fund (ADTx), will back companies serving micro, small, and medium enterprises across South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa. It will be managed by Accion Impact Management.

Limited partners in ADTx include British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor; the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO; IDB Invest; International Finance Corporation (IFC); Mastercard; OeEB, the Development Bank of Austria; and Swedfund, Sweden’s development finance institution.

ADTx has invested in Annapurna Finance and IKF Finance in India so far and expects to make up to twelve investments in total. In addition to equity and quasi-equity investments, Accion will provide portfolio companies with hands-on strategic support and access to its global network. 

“We believe finance companies have an enormous opportunity to scale efficiently using digital technologies and better client engagement. Through capital, active board participation, shareholder engagement, and strategic support, we seek to drive the digital transformation agenda of these companies, enabling them to better serve small businesses,” said Njord Andrewes, Managing Partner, Accion Digital Transformation Fund, in a prepared statement. 

Accion is a global non-profit that develops and scales digital financial solutions for small business owners, smallholder farmers, and women. It also offers investments, advisory solutions, and thought leadership to local partners to develop and scale cheaper, more accessible, and customer-friendly financial solutions. 

The organisation says it has worked with more than 230 financial service providers serving low-income clients in 75 countries, reaching more than 350 million people, since 1961.

“With the Accion Digital Transformation Fund, we expect to connect millions more small businesses to the digital economy, providing high-quality, affordable financial services that help reduce poverty and create opportunity,” said Michael Schlein, President and CEO of Accion.

Edited by: Deepshikha Monga

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