Cowrywise Becomes Catalyst Fund Portfolio Company as the Startup Accelerator Announces New $15m Fund for African Fintech

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Boston-based accelerator, Catalyst Fund has unveiled six early-stage fintech startups that will participate in its accelerator program. The list consists of an agritech credit startup Farmart with operations in India as well as 5 African based startups – one of which is Nigeria’s Cowrywise.

These 6 startups are Catalyst Fund’s latest cohort of startups for its accelerator program. The global accelerator provides mentorship and non-equity funding to early-stage tech ventures focused on driving financial inclusion in emerging and frontier markets.

The African startups in this cohort include Pesakit, a Kenyan mobile app for mobile money agents; Kwara, a Kenyan mobile banking platform for Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs); Meerkat, a South African debt and Savings solution.

Others include Spoon, a South African startup offering credit and savings for female businesses; and Nigeria’s Cowrywise, an automated savings and investment platform where users save their money and earn interests on their savings.

These startups, will be provided with bespoke venture building support from fintech and emerging markets experts. They will also be provided patient capital to pilot and iterate their product of up to £80,000, while being introduced to Calalyst Fund’s circle of investors which includes Accion and 500 Startups.

New Catalyst Fund $15 million Support from JP Morgan

Beyond the new cohort, Catalyst Fund also received $15 million in new support from JP Morgan and UK Aid to back 30 fintech startups from across Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, India and Mexico, over the next three years.

Cowrywise Joins Catalyst Fund Portfolio as Accelerator Announces New Africa Fund
Catalyst fund has so far accelerated 25 early stage fintech startups.

This means a cohort of 10 early stage fintech startups will be selected every year from these countries. The selected startups will gain grants of up to $100,000 and participate in a six-month accelerator program.

“The additional support from UK aid and continued support from J.P. Morgan will enable us to deepen our local footprints and ecosystem development role in each of our key markets, as well as welcome new partners that can support our mission.”

Maelis Carraro, Director, Catalyst Fund.

With this, Catalyst fund will be adding 30 more startups to its portfolio of accelerated startups. It already has 25 startups including Africa focused cross-border money transfer platform, ChipperCash.



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