Moody's and Village Capital Announce Winners of Latin America Finance Forward Accelerator
Mexico City, November. 09, 2020, /3BL Media/ — Village Capital, with support from Moody’s, MetLife Foundation, and PayPal, today announced that Finerio, U-Zave, Creci, Akredito, and ZIZU were selected by peer entrepreneurs to receive equity-free investment as a part of Finance Forward LatAm 2020. An investment-readiness program, Finance Forward LatAm 2020 is part of Finance Forward, a multi-year global coalition to support entrepreneurs on four continents who are building tech-enabled solutions to place-based challenges around financial health.
“Financial inclusion was a regional problem long before coronavirus so harshly affected Latin America’s economy,” said Daniel Cossío, Regional Manager for Village Capital Latin America. “Village Capital has been supporting financial health entrepreneurs across the region for years because we know they have tremendous opportunity to help the more than 60% of Latin Americans who work informally – from food delivery people to street traders. Given the pandemic, we adapted to provide as much value through virtual programs as we do in person.”
“At Moody’s we believe that it is essential that we support social entrepreneurs who are committed to transforming their communities, especially during these turbulent times,” said Arlene Isaacs-Lowe, Global Head of CSR, Moody’s. “The COVID-19 pandemic has exasperated pre existing challenges to the financial health of communities across Latin America, making the Finance Forward initiative more important than ever for rebuilding better economies.”
“Financial health challenges for low-income people and small businesses in Latin America have become even more significant in light of COVID-19,” said MetLife Foundation President and CEO Dennis White. “MetLife and MetLife Foundation are committed to helping people build resilience and plan for a confident future. Times of crisis present opportunities for innovation, and we look forward to seeing the solutions that Finance Forward entrepreneurs will develop.”
“PayPal is passionate about democratizing access to financial services,” said Julie Vennewitz-Pierce, Director of PayPal Gives. “We are glad to be able to contribute to the growth of such innovative entrepreneurs who are working towards building financial health for Latin American families and small business owners. We know that being part of Finance Forward Latin America 2020 will be a milestone in their careers and hope they will continue working towards the same goal as we do."
Finerio, U-Zave, Creci, Akredito, and ZIZU were selected for investment by a group of peer entrepreneurs on the final day of Finance Forward LatAm 2020, a three-month venture development program managed by Village Capital in collaboration with Moody’s, MetLife Foundation, and PayPal. The 12 startups in the program evaluated each other through an investor lens, using eight specific investment criteria that leverage Village Capital’s Venture Investment Levels. Finerio, U-Zave, Creci, Akredito, and ZIZU were ranked “most investment ready”. The five companies are focused on the following:
- Finerio (Mexico) helps fintechs, banks, and financial institutions update their services and process their data into useful insights for catalyzing their clients’ financial wellbeing.
- U-Zave (Chile) helps Latin Americans save for the future (as 56% of them do not do so), through a platform where a percentage of every purchase they make is collected within a mutual fund.
- Creci (Colombia) furthers financial inclusion and social impact goals by providing credit facilities to MSMEs that are promoting at least one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Through a simple and easy-to-use online tool, Creci helps its clients identify and report their impact, with the goal of capturing and profiling impact statistics across its portfolio to better attract capital resources for SMEs furthering social impact.
- Akredito (Brazil) pays, consolidates, and refinances all debts of a defaulter whose registration at credit bureaus prevents him/her from getting a job, requesting additional credit, and more.
- ZIZU (Argentina) is a card-to-card remittance service for Argentinian families that allows them to control the remittances issued in other countries, and to give families the security of an income, using the least amount of cash transactions possible.
More than 140 entrepreneurs from 11 countries in Latin America applied to be a part of the accelerator. The top 12 companies from five Latin American countries: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, and Mexico were selected to be part of the cohort. All 12 of them are already mobilizing toward crucial financial challenges in the region and will provide help to Latin Americans amidst an ongoing financial crisis.
About Village Capital
Village Capital helps entrepreneurs bring big ideas from vision to scale. Our mission is to reinvent the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Our vision is a future where business creates equity and long-term prosperity. Since 2009, we have supported more than 1,100 early-stage entrepreneurs through our accelerator programs. Our affiliated fund, VilCap Investments, has invested in more than 100 program graduates, including 9 early-stage Latin American companies like Fintual, ePesos and Mutuo Financiera.
Moody’s (NYSE:MCO) is a global integrated risk assessment firm that empowers organizations to make better decisions. Our data, analytical solutions and insights help decision-makers identify opportunities and manage the risks of doing business with others. We believe that greater transparency, more informed decisions, and fair access to information open the door to shared progress. With over 11,200 employees in more than 40 countries, Moody’s combines international presence with local expertise and over a century of experience in financial markets. Learn more at moodys.com/about.
Moody’s builds toward a world where more people have access to opportunity, and where everyone has what they need to grow and thrive. We are committed to opening the door to brighter futures through our global corporate social responsibility programs connecting people around the world with the knowledge and resources they need to succeed. For more information visit moodys.com/csr.
Sofía Cándano, Communications
Jordan Brueckner, Communications