Our mission is to improve the wellbeing of the world’s underserved individuals and small businesses.
Catalyst Fund was launched in 2015 as a global accelerator, managed by BFA Global, for early-stage inclusive fintech startups, offering affordable, accessible and appropriate digital financial solutions that improve the financial health of underserved communities in emerging markets.
Initially backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and JPMorgan Chase & Co., and fiscal sponsorship from Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, over the years the accelerator scaled with support from the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), PayPal, and Mastercard Foundation.
The Catalyst Fund startup accelerator worked to fill important gaps in the innovation ecosystems across Africa, Latin America and Asia, including: lack of patient capital to test and iterate products in-market, lack of skill sets to rapidly build viable solutions for underserved customers and lack of connections for many local founders with global and local investors and corporate partners. The accelerator tackled these challenges by offering a combination of catalytic grant capital, bespoke venture-building support from market and sector experts and access to a global network of investors and corporate innovators, while sharing insights, learnings and toolkits with the broader inclusive tech ecosystem.
From 2015 to 2022, Catalyst Fund backed 61 companies across 15 emerging markets, constantly refining its proven model to take startups closer to product-market fit. Our portfolio companies have gone on to secure over US$656 million in follow-on funding and currently serve more than 14 million individuals and MSMEs globally.
In line with our mission to support entrepreneurs who use technology, finance, and data innovation to tackle the biggest challenges and opportunities of our time, in 2022 we expanded our mandate to invest in enterprises that address the most pressing global challenge of our time: climate change.
Building on lessons learned and core strengths, our new $40M pre-seed fund and accelerator will back high-impact tech startups that seek to improve the resilience of underserved, climate-vulnerable communities across Africa.
Join Catalyst Fund
We are actively looking for early-stage startups that improve the resilience of underserved and climate-vulnerable communities in emerging markets.