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[NEW YORK] Quona Capital Management Ltd raised US$141 million for the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, which will invest in companies that provide financial and other services to underserved customers in emerging markets.
JPMorgan Chase & Co, Mastercard Inc, AXA Impact Fund, Prudential Financial Inc and MetLife Inc are among investors in the fund, which will focus on Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America, Washington-based Quona Capital said Sunday in a statement. The venture will invest in technology, distribution and financial-services businesses.
"By identifying and supporting the most promising business models, the fund can produce a demonstration effect that inspires others to pursue inclusive new technologies and compete in traditionally underserved communities," Monica Brand Engel, a founding partner at Quona Capital, said in the statement.
Among the companies that have received investments are Konfio, which uses data analytics to make loans to micro-businesses in Mexico; Coins, a mobile payments platform for low-income customers in the Philippines; Creditas, which makes home and auto-equity loans in Brazil; and NeoGrowth, which offers payments receivables financing in India, according to the statement.
Quona will manage the fund for sponsor and anchor investor Accion International, a not-for-profit micro-lender based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Accion, headed by Michael Schlein, has made more than 30 impact investments in startups around the world over the past nine years, according to the statement.
"The fund shows the importance of harnessing the capital markets to solve society's most challenging problems," Mr Schlein said in the statement.