DFS Lab and Gates Foundation invest in four African fintech start-ups
Digital Financial Services (DFS) Lab, a fintech accelerator supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is investing in four African start-ups.
The four start-ups, which received $200,000 funding from the Gates Foundation, are:
- Cherehani Africa, which relies on mobile-based tech to provide credit and distribute personalised financial literacy content to women and adolescent girls who own micro-enterprises.
- NALA, which is building a Venmo-like interface to create a single, unified wallet for Tanzanian smartphone users.
- Nobuntu, a savings-focused product in South Africa to prepare for retirement.
- An unnamed start-up in Kenya, which is currently in “stealth mode” and will focus on digital lending.
DFS Lab is an early-stage accelerator that helps fintech entrepreneurs and start-ups launch businesses in developing countries of Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to invest in companies that are creating products that will improve, simplify, and enrich people’s lives,” says Dr. Jake Kendall, director of DFS Lab. He adds that DFS Lab’s current portfolio of companies uses technology to create solutions for low-income and unbanked populations.
Kendall encourages other investors “to look at Africa and Asia for investment opportunities”.
The accelerator is funded by a $4.8 million three-year grant from the Gates Foundation and is based at Caribou Digital, a provider of advisory, strategy and research services to build inclusive digital economies.