Maelis Carraro is the Managing Partner of Catalyst Fund, a pre-seed VC fund and accelerator dedicated to backing tech startups that are shaping a climate-resilient future in Africa. Catalyst Fund is part of BFA Global group.
With a career spanning impact investing and tech, Maelis works closely with startups, investors, DFIs, banks, and philanthropic funders to drive transformative solutions across emerging markets, benefiting both people and the planet. Her focus lies in investing in and supporting early-stage entrepreneurs building tech-enabled solutions in areas such as agtech, insurance, carbon finance, and water access for underserved and climate-vulnerable communities. Having backed over 70 startups across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, Maelis has played a vital role in nurturing the innovation ecosystem in emerging markets.
Prior to Catalyst Fund, she also worked at the International Finance Corporation, the OECD, Grameen Bank, and impact fund Global Partnerships, where she supported impact investing strategies, inclusive finance product innovation and research on microfinance schemes to enable climate adaptation and resilience. Maelis also co-founded RemitMas, an inclusive fintech startup that empowers Latino immigrants through cross-border remittances, enabling them to save for long-term goals in their home countries.
She holds a dual MBA and Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia Business School and the School of International and Public Affairs, and a BA Cum Laude in Political Science and Development Economics from University College London. You can speak to her in Italian, French, English, Spanish and some basic Turkish!