Apis Partners, a new growth fund to back fintech startups out emerging markets like Asia and Africa, has launched, aiming to raise between $250 million and $300 million. Matteo Stefanel, previously a partner in emerging markets private equity firm Abraaj, created the fund with Udayan Goyal, a founder of fintech investment and advisory firm Anthemis Group. Plenty of innovation in financial services is coming from Africa and south Asia, where there are many millions of ‘unbanked’ people, and they are leap-frogging old platforms to mobile, mainly. M-Pesa (pesa is Swahili for money) is a mobile-phone based money transfer and microfinancing service, launched in 2007 by Vodafone which has taken Africa by storm, for instance. According to Accenture, global fintech investment more than tripled from $928 million in 2008 to $2.97 billion in 2013.
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