Good news for fintech startups in developing markets! Quona Capital recently announced that it has closed its latest fintech fund, its third, at $332 million. The venture capital firm, which specializes in emerging markets, noted that the amount raised topped its target of $250 million. The new fund, Fund III, will be focused on companies that are developing technologies that expand access to financial services for consumers and businesses in regions ranging from Latin America and India to Southeast Asia, MENA, and Africa.
“Since our earliest days, Quona has been dedicated to expanding the frontiers of financial inclusion – investing with conviction in markets and technology-enabled models improving access and quality of financial services for the masses,” Quona co-founding managing partner Monica Brand Engel said in a statement. “Our prior fund performance, robust pipeline of inclusive fintechs, and growing LP interest in our offerings are ringing endorsements of our view on the prospects of impact-oriented venture investing in emerging markets.”
With aggregate capital of more than $745 million, Fund II is the firm’s third fund since Quona Capital was launched in 2015. Those contributing to the fund as investors include global asset managers, insurance companies, both investment and commercial banks, endowments, foundations, family offices, and more. And while many of the investors in Fund III have invested in Quona Capital funds previously, the new fund did receive capital from 20 new investors, as well.
According to Quona Capital, the startups in its portfolio have served nearly nine million small and medium-sized businesses and over 30 million retail customers. Quona Capital startups have raised nearly $4 billion in capital and generated more than $800 million in revenues. Among these firms are India-based consumer lending company ZestMoney, Southeast Asia-based fintech marketplace ula, and long-time international remittance firm and long-time Finovate alum Azimo – which was acquired by Papaya Global earlier this year.
Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.
Central and Southern Asia
- Indian neobank ZikZuk acquired tax e-filing platform TaxSpanner.
- National Bank of Pakistan turned to Finastra to enhance its trade finance operations.
- Lentra, a fintech based in India, secured $60 million in Series B funding for its loans-as-a-service business for banks.
Latin America and the Caribbean
- AstroPay introduced its Mastercard prepaid card in Brazil.
- Mexico-based B2B payments company Mendel raised $60 million in new funding.
- Brazil’s Agrolend, which provides credit to the country’s farmers, secured $27 million in Series B funding.
- Ant Group introduced its Buy Now, Pay later offering in Hong Kong.
- Vietnam-based Sacombank partnered with Temenos to enhance digital banking.
- Philippines-based neobank Tonik unveiled its all-digital lending products, Flex Loan and Big Loan.
- Nigerian fintech Paga unveiled its Visa-branded card this week.
- Pan-African paytech Cellulant secured a Payment Systems Operator license from the National Bank of Uganda
- Samsung South Africa launched its digital wallet, Samsung Wallet.
Central and Eastern Europe
- Polish fintech Ramp locked in $70 million in Series B funding to build payment rails for cryptocurrency investors.
- Co-investment platform for European startups SeedBlink secured licensing from the Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority (ASF).
- Genome, an Electronic Money Institution based in Lithuania, partnered with Entrust to simplify digital payments.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- UAE-based Wio Bank went live with Mambu’s cloud-native banking platform.
- Pyppl, a financial services platform based in the UAE, raised $20 million in Series B funding.
- Saudi Arabia’s central bank presented its open banking framework.