The Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Peter Estlin has announced USD 12.5 Mn (GBP 10 Mn) funding from the UK government to support Kenyan fintech startups that are working to increase financial inclusion for low-income and underserved populations.
The funds will be channeled to the startups via Catalyst Fund, an accelerator focused on early-stage fintech companies in emerging markets, which is managed by BFA, with support from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Catalyst Fund, with support from the DFID, will aim to connect 30 fintech companies with international investors. Over three years, the fund has supported twenty five startups across the world, twelve of them African.
Amolo Ng’weno, CEO of BFA Global said Catalyst Fund has recognized the potential of fintechs to drive financial inclusion. However, in order for them to succeed, they require early stage capital, partnerships which can enable pathways for scale and access to a high potential talent pool.
“Our mission at the Catalyst Fund is to accelerate these startups and strengthen the inclusive fintech ecosystem and we look forward to working toward this goal with the support of UK Aid,” she added.
Mr. Estlin also announced through the City of London Corporation that five startups under the Catalyst Fund will be selected to attend the Innovate Finance Global Summit, taking place during UK Fintech week in 2020, helping to strengthen the links between UK and African fintech sectors.
“Today’s announcement highlights the mutual benefits of closer financial co-operation to both the UK and Kenya. By forging partnerships across Africa, the UK’s financial services sector can turbocharge national economies and empower individuals financially, creating thousands of jobs and enriching lives across the continent,” Mr Estlin told a gathering of early-stage startups in Nairobi.
This announcement comes with the Lord Mayor’s visit to Kenya, ahead of the UK-Africa Investment Summit next year, the first of its kind.
Feature photo courtesy: ReclaimEC1