The Fincluders Bootcamp 2017, a two-week investment readiness and coaching programme held in Luxembourg and Frankfurt am Main, aimed at nurturing 12 innovative young financial technology companies with ideas for increasing financial inclusion in many countries worldwide, for farmers in Kenya to merchants in Jordan, kicked off on Monday 23 October and concluded on Thursday 2 November.
The event concluded after two weeks of intensive work, passionate discussions and business meetings.
The first week of the programme in Luxembourg covered a range of topics, including business model mapping, peer due diligence processes, customer centricity, investability and business plan presentation. Outside of the formal sessions, many evenings were spent discussing entrepreneurship challenges and technology developments. The success of the programme in Luxembourg was down to the incredible support of so many mentors and experts (representing Governance.io, BCEE, Infrachain, Société Générale, Bonn Steichen & Partners, CGAP, BGL BNP Paribas and LuxFLAG) who shared their wisdom and enthusiasm for tackling financial inclusion problems.
Nasir Zubairi, CEO of the LHoFT Foundation commented: “This two-week investment readiness and coaching program was fantastic. It is great to have achieved so much with 12 incredible startups and we hope to see positive outcomes out of this amazing learning experience. It was great to work with Finance in Motion, the EFSE and SANAD Funds and Village Capital to execute this epic programme. We very much appreciate the support we have received within Luxembourg from the whole community to make this programme a reality.”
Building on the success of the Fincluders Startup Competitions held in Berlin, Germany and Amman, Jordan by the leading micro and small enterprise funds EFSE and SANAD, the funds, through their Technical Assistance Facilities, invited promising fintechs which are developing inclusive financial services to underserved groups to the Fincluders Bootcamp 2017.
Mary Joseph, Director of Partnerships at FarmDrive, one of the participating startups, set the tone for the week: “Fintech is really going to change the way financial services work across the world, and we need to boost that”.
The first week of the program in Luxembourg covered a range of topics, including business model mapping, peer due diligence processes, customer centricity, investability and business plan presentation. Outside of the formal sessions, many evenings were spent discussing entrepreneurship challenges and technology developments. In the second week, the group moved to TechQuartier in Frankfurt, with the programme looking at in-depth business model mapping, growth strategies, financials as well conducting mutual evaluations.
The bootcamp also provided an opportunity to the partner institutions of the EFSE and SANAD funds to explore the opportunities that fintech provides to them, through a one-day training in combination with networking sessions with fintechs and members of the financial technology community in Luxembourg. The bootcamp ended with feedback meetings in Frankfurt, where the startups received advice on strategic challenges they face from Frankfurt-based institutions focused on fintech and digitalisation.
Lino Pujol, co-founder of Quotanda, commented: “We had a lot of contact with mentors and peer companies from other parts of the world, so we can learn about their needs and the solutions they are providing in other places that are interesting to us.”
The bootcamp was held in partnership with Finance in Motion, Village Capital and the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT). The success of the program is thanks to the support of the many mentors and experts including a broad range of institutional, venture capital and development finance institution investors in Luxembourg and Frankfurt.
The 12 qualified startups:
Tarfin: Turkey - Provides underbanked farmers with competitive point-of-sale financing for farm inputs.
Quotanda: Spain/Mexico - Lending-as-a-service platform for schools, providing access to student finance options.
Agrocenta: Ghana - Online trade hub connecting farmers and buyers and on-demand logistics service.
Moneyfellows: Egypt - Lending and saving with friends and family through the use of social reputation.
POSRocket: Jordan - Affordable cloud point-of-sale platform for small business owners.
Seso: South Africa - Blockchain technology to provide digital land registries and land transactions.
FarmDrive Kenya - Credit-scoring for smallholder farmers, based on a range of data including agricultural.
OptioAI: Georgia - Chatbot giving personal finance advice for millennials, improving spending decisions.
Circle.Money: Croatia - Multilateral compensations platform settling claims of SMEs.
Kredico: Turkey - Individual and business credit scoring using multiple data sources.
PayMob: Egypt - Financial infrastructure and mobile money solutions for merchants and consumers.
KiraPlus: Turkey - Payments platform facilitating property rent management.