Why our money is on this Brazilian female fintech founder: meet Monica of Grão

  Monica and her team (formerly Diin) in Brazil   This post was co-authored by Malika Anand and Thea Sokolowski.   A former securities broker and two-time entrepreneur, Monica Saccarelli was the first female partner at...

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What will it take for Nigeria’s inclusive fintech sector to flourish?

This post was co-authored by Thea Sokolowski and Malika Anand. Despite a notoriously challenging operating environment, there are signs of improvement for fintech startups in Nigeria. Financial inclusion rates are surprisingly low (41.6% remain excluded), but mobile penetration rates are … Continue reading →

Catalyst Fund welcomes new cohort of inclusive fintech startups

Catalyst Fund welcomes new cohort of inclusive fintech startups creating solutions to improve the financial health of underserved communities and small businesses. Continue reading →

Catalyst Fund announces expansion, $15 million in funding from UK aid, J.P. Morgan

Global inclusive fintech accelerator Catalyst Fund announces new £12 million GBP ($15 million USD) commitment from UK aid and J.P. Morgan to advance financial inclusion in emerging markets New commitment to help fund the growth of 30 early-stage companies focused … Continue reading →

Lean user research: How Diin sequenced data analysis and user interviews to generate insights

Co-authored with Javier Linares   Startups typically chase growth by acquiring more and more customers. It is tempting to interpret more customers as a signal that your product is working. But, as we have discussed before, startups need to be … Continue reading →

Can fintech bridge the digital divide in India?

Authored in collaboration with Malika Anand Forecasters predict that Indians will conduct more than US$1 trillion in digital transactions by 2025. Eighty percent of Indians already own a bank account, 54% of Indians use broadband mobile connections, and data services … Continue reading →

Designing fintech solutions for inclusion: key takeaways from SOCAP 2019

“A truly inclusive innovation only works if it is adopted by the end-users it’s designed to serve.” — Maelis Carraro, Director, BFA Global Catalyst Fund   Themed Accelerating a New Global Market at the Intersection of Money + Meaning, SOCAP is the largest annual gathering … Continue reading →

Inclusive Fintech in Practice: Chipper Cash Illustrates Three Key Ways to Tackling Cross-Border Payments in Africa

  The mobile money revolution in East Africa has yet to extend to cross-border transactions, even as the region is becoming more integrated economically. A study by CGAP and BFA Global found that “around 8 percent of people in East Africa actively send or … Continue reading →

Re-envisioning fintech innovation in Kenya

“… technology to shape the future…rather than simply allowing the future to shape us.” – Alderman Peter Estlin, 691st Lord Mayor of the City of London   Last week, Catalyst Fund launched our chapter in Kenya, alongside our partners FSD … Continue reading →

Meet Catalyst Fund’s Newest Game Changers

Introducing the newest cohort of Catalyst Fund   Fintech innovations are breaking new ground every day. We are in awe of the new fintech products and services that meet the needs of low-income customers in emerging markets. If you have … Continue reading →

Meet Catalyst Fund’s Venture-Builders

Catalyst Fund bets on talent to deliver tailored technical assistance Entrepreneurs apply to the Catalyst Fund for the money, but they stay for venture-building support.   Catalyst Fund’s tailored venture-building support puts the weight of BFA Global’s deep expertise in inclusive fintech … Continue reading →

Four Steps to Being Agile for Fintech Companies

Banco Maré’s Journey from Working Enthusiastically to Working Deliberately     Startups have great ideas and the best intentions for impact; they are inspired, passionate, and motivated. But too often, they end up frustrated; losing crucial talent and spinning their … Continue reading →

Accelerating to Investment: Four Strategies for Securing Follow-on Funding for Fintech Startups

Co-authored with Maelis Carraro   The goal for every startup — fintech or otherwise — is securing funding for growth. Yet most fintech startups launch with an abundance of ideas and optimism, but without the capital to test and scale … Continue reading →

What are Fintech CEOs saying about the future of inclusive fintech?

  An insight, an opportunity, and a challenge     Last week, an incredible community of entrepreneurs who are building cutting-edge financial solutions for the underserved met to imagine and shape a fairer, more appropriate financial world. For the second … Continue reading →

Six Steps to an Intelligent AI Strategy: The AI Readiness Toolkit

  Are you a startup seeking to prepare yourself for artificial intelligence (AI), but don’t yet have a concrete strategy in place? Perhaps you are a well-established data-centric organization that wants to assess return on investment and areas of strength … Continue reading →

Tracking Churn to get to Profitability

Sokowatch’s experience integrating a retention dashboard     At Catalyst Fund, we have helped 20 inclusive fintech startups move from idea to prototype, to the product, to profitability. It may surprise some to learn that the indicator we watch most closely is … Continue reading →

Don’t be THAT CEO

Management styles that hold you and your team back from product-market fit   When it comes to venture-building, we can all agree that one of the first steps founders have to take is to create a product that is irresistible … Continue reading →

Three Essential Tips for Winning Over Investors at SOCAP 2018 and Beyond

Catalyst Fund’s “How to SOCAP” for Entrepreneurs #3 Connecting with the right investors is one of the most important jobs you have as an entrepreneur, founder, or CEO at a startup. But as much as you’d like to find a … Continue reading →

Three Essential Tips for Winning Over Investors at SOCAP 2018 and Beyond

Catalyst Fund’s “How to SOCAP” for Entrepreneurs #3     Connecting with the right investors is one of the most important jobs you have as an entrepreneur, founder, or CEO at a startup. But as much as you’d like to … Continue reading →

Three Inside Networking Tips for SOCAP 2018

Catalyst Fund’s “How to SOCAP” for Entrepreneurs #2 Hopefully, you started your fundraising preparation for SOCAP weeks ago by connecting with attendees on SOCAP’s Pathable App or downloading the full attendee list to target specific people to meet, and reaching out to individuals for meetings. If … Continue reading →

Three Key Ways that Inclusive Fintech Companies Deepen Financial Inclusion

Customers Value More Affordable, Better Designed and Time-saving Products and Services 1. Tech + Touch: New Interactions to Reach & Keep Customers Carolina, a building cleaner in Sao Paulo, is worried about providing for her young family with her tight … Continue reading →