Quona Capital to invest $332M in fintech startups in emerging markets

Quona Capital has closed a $332 million fund to invest in fintech startups in emerging markets.

Quona Capital to invest $332M in fintech startups in emerging markets
Quona co-founders: Jonathan Whittle, Monica Brand Engel, and Ganesh Rengaswamy

Amidst decreased venture capital deals and layoffs, Quona Capital, a venture capital (VC) firm has secured $332 million for its Fund III—well ahead of its original $250 million target—to invest in emerging markets.

The fund will look to invest in fintech and fintech adjacencies across verticals like supply chain, healthcare, education, digital commerce and mobility, Ganesh Rengaswamy, co-founder and managing partner at Quona, stated. Early-stage investments – seed to Series A – will be especially pronounced in the third fund compared to its previous two funds.

“We are the only global fund in emerging markets for fintech which has a one-team-one-strategy approach. Obviously, we have nuances in how we approach our markets, but we are on four continents. India is where we have maximum investments, followed by Indonesia and Brazil,” Rengaswamy added.

"The rough idea is that we invest in around 20-odd companies out of each fund. With this fund being significantly larger in size and fairly oversubscribed, we will probably go up to 25 companies."

Founded in 2015 by managing partners Monica Brand Engel, Jonathan Whittle, and Ganesh Rengaswamy, Quona Capital was established as a corporate spin-off from Accion, a global leader in microfinance, to address the growing need for alternatives to traditional financial services.

Quona Capital invests in companies in Latin America, India, Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Notable exits from its first fund were IndiaMart, which went public in 2019, and, which was acquired, also in 2019, by Gojek.

Some of the first six investments from the latest fund have gone into companies including Egyptian financial super app Khazna, MoHash, a decentralized finance protocol, Pillow, which wants to make cryptocurrency saving and investing easier, and nocnoc, helping global sellers connect with marketplaces in Latin America.

In Africa Quona previously invested in startups like South Africa's Yoco and Lulalend, Kenya’s Wasoko (formerly Sokowatch), Nigeria's Cowrywise, and Zambia-based Zoona, which was acquired in 2020 by Mukuru.

"Since our earliest days, Quona has been dedicated to expanding the frontiers of financial inclusion — investing with conviction in markets and technology-enabled models that are improving access to and quality of financial services for the masses," said Brand Engel, who leads Quona’s investments in Africa, and Middle East and North Africa (MENA), said.

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