Four African startups are among the six selected by Catalyst Fund for the 10th cohort of its accelerator for fintech companies building solutions designed to improve the resilience of underserved and climate vulnerable communities in emerging markets.
Catalyst Fund, managed by BFA Global, is supported by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), JPMorgan Chase & Co, and PayPal, and fiscally sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.
The organisation has recently explored the role of fintech innovation in increasing the resilience of climate vulnerable populations, and has selected its latest cohort based on these insights. Six companies have been chosen to take part, four of which are from Africa.
They are Kenya’s AquaRech, a platform for fish farmers to source quality feed, reduce growth cycles by monitoring via sensor technology, find new routes to market, and access credit to enable growth; Nigeria’s ColdHubs, a “plug and play” modular, solar-powered walk-in cold room, for 24/7 off-grid storage and preservation of perishable foods, enabled through digital payments; Kenyan/Nigerian startup TopUp Mama, an online B2B platform for restaurants to purchase all inventory required at wholesale prices; and Kenya’s Tulix, a digital payment wallet to enhance visibility of funds and collaboration between African migrants and their beneficiaries back home.
Companies from Mexico and Argentine complete the cohort, who join Catalyst Fund’s existing portfolio of 55 companies and receive catalytic capital, bespoke and expert-led venture building support from BFA Global, and direct connections with investors, corporate innovators and talent networks that can help them scale. Catalyst Fund will continue to explore the opportunity for inclusive fintech innovators to enhance the resilience of vulnerable populations.
“Low-income and underserved communities in emerging markets will bear the brunt of the climate crisis, yet contributed the least to it. The impacts of climate risks are predicted to be expansive, affecting communities in wide ranging and unforeseen ways. It’s fundamental to invest in solutions that build resilience to shocks and ensure these solutions are reaching the most vulnerable,” said Maelis Carraro, managing director of Catalyst Fund.
“We have explored models that push the frontier of current thinking around resilience-building for climate vulnerable people, and we are energized to explore how fintech innovation can help these populations, by supporting pioneering entrepreneurs in Kenya, Nigeria and Mexico. We look forward to exploring this innovation frontier for fintech with the invaluable support of JPMorgan Chase, FCDO, and PayPal.”