DFS Labs invests $250 000 in four African, US startups


The Digital Financial Services Labs (DFS Labs), an initiative backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has announced that it’ll be investing $250 000 in four separate fintech startups.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to invest in companies that are focusing on consumers in emerging markets,” DFS director Jake Kendall said yesterday in a press release.

The four were chosen out of an initial nine startups that presented their products at the DFS Lab’s Fintech Bootcamp in Sri Lanka earlier this year.

‘Expanding access to digital financial services can transform people’s lives’

In addition to finance, the chosen companies will also receive six months of mentorship and integration into DFS Lab’s global network.

“Expanding access to digital financial services — especially for unbanked populations — can transform people’s lives by providing them with money management tools that most of us take for granted,” said Kendall.

The startups that have been selected are:

  • Inclusive — a Ghanian API identification platform which allows financial institutions to illuminate redundant identity checks.
  • Pula — a Kenyan insurance intermediary that aims to push data-driven agricultural insurance.
  • Pezesha — a peer-to-business microlending marketplace based in Kenya which aims to use analytics to match lenders to creditworthy low-income small businesses.
  • Teller — a US-based startup which has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) banking assistant which helps customers connect with their banks through various messaging platforms.

“The companies we are investing in are creating cutting edge solutions that enable the delivery of financial services to low-income people around the world — we look forward to working with them,” said Kendall.



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