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Quona Capital to invest $332M in fintech startups from emerging markets focusing on financial inclusion


Emerging markets venture capital firm Quona Capital today announced the final close of $332 million for its Fund III, significantly exceeding its $250 million target.

This is the third fund from Quona Capital since its inception, bringing the firm’s aggregate committed capital to over $745 million.

Quona focuses its investments on innovative technology companies that are expanding access to financial services for underserved consumers and businesses in Latin America, India, Southeast Asia, Africa and MENA.

Quona’s Fund III investors include an array of leading global asset managers, insurance companies, investment and commercial banks, university endowments, foundations, family offices and development finance institutions. The majority of Fund III investors returned from prior Quona funds, joined by more than 20 new relationships.

The VC firm was established as an independent venture capital firm in 2015 by co-founding managing partners Monica Brand Engel, Jonathan Whittle, and Ganesh Rengaswamy. Today the firm’s global team—which includes investment professionals and other staff hailing from more than 10 countries and speaking 20 languages—brings a unique combination of deep experience as investors and operators in financial services and technology together with a passion for making investments for lasting impact.

“Since our earliest days, Quona has been dedicated to expanding the frontiers of financial inclusion—investing with conviction in markets and technology-enabled models improving access and quality of financial services for the masses,” said Monica Brand Engel, who leads Quona’s investments in Africa and MENA. “Our prior fund performance, robust pipeline of inclusive fintechs, and growing LP interest in our offerings are ringing endorsements of our view on the prospects of impact-oriented venture investing in emerging markets.”

“Financial services in emerging markets are being transformed by the power of technology, and Quona’s portfolio companies have been at the front lines of that transformation,” added Jonathan Whittle, who leads Quona’s investments in Latin America. “The pace of innovation in Latin America is accelerating due to a combination of regulatory reform, a maturing venture capital ecosystem, and a wave of founders who cut their teeth with the first generation of successful technology companies in the region.”

Ganesh Rengaswamy who leads the firm’s investments in India and Southeast Asia said “With 35% of the global population and over 150 million small businesses, the Asia region hosts a very large proportion of the world’s marginalised consumers and small businesses,” he said. “The rapid digitisation of these markets—combined with the innovative solutions developed by the companies Quona is investing in—are bringing these consumers and small businesses into mainstream economic and financial systems. Quona is proud to be a catalyst in enabling these entrepreneurs and their teams.”

From the onset, Quona has systematically measured the impact of the companies in which it invests, and it has played a substantial leadership role in the impact industry as a result. Before its formal launch in 2015, Quona collaborated with industry leaders to pioneer an impact framework built for financial inclusion measurement. From being an early adopter of the GIIN’s Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS) to shaping the Impact Management Project’s “5 Dimensions of Impact,” to becoming an early signatory to the Impact Principles, Quona has continued to play a critical role in the evolution of the impact investing industry and has been recognized as part of the Impact Assets 50 for three years in a row.

Quona Capital funds have made more than 65 investments since the firm’s inception.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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