Accion Venture Lab is the world’s leading seed-stage investor in fintech for the underserved. Venture Lab invests capital in, and provides support to, innovative fintech startups that improve the reach, quality, and affordability of financial services for the underserved and have the potential to scale.
Created in 2012 by Accion and backed by commercial and impact investors since the launch of its third-party fund in 2019, Venture Lab has deployed over US$27.4 million across 50 early-stage startups that operate in 39 countries worldwide. Venture Lab is a part of Accion, a global nonprofit committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing.
Venture Lab has successfully delivered returns above their benchmarks while staying true to our mission of financial inclusion. We have done so by employing a rigorous sourcing and diligence process, investing in companies poised to take advantage of the investment themes we believe will be successful in the future, and by adding value in the form of strategic and operational support through our portfolio engagement team. Most importantly, Venture Lab has created a model of social impact that many in our industry look to emulate. Venture Lab has helped more than 18.5 million consumers and small businesses benefit from the formal financial sector. We have helped protect and insure 2.1 million individuals and helped people put $166 million into savings.
About Accion: *
Accion is a global nonprofit committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. We catalyze financial service providers to deliver high-quality, affordable solutions at scale for the three billion people who are left out of – or poorly served by – the financial sector. For more than 50 years, Accion has helped tens of millions of people through its work with more than 110 partners in 50 countries.
Accion Venture Lab seeks an experienced, senior level investments professional, with a proven track record of making and exiting investments, to lead a dynamic, high-performing team as it continues to scale its work in partnership with global financial services companies, foundations and DFIs.
This leader will also work closely with the Venture Lab Investment Committee to effectively identify and manage investments and will interact regularly with Venture Lab’s Limited Partners on reporting and fund performance.
As a member of Accion’s Operating Committee (senior leadership team), s/he will also be engaged in broader organizational strategies and initiatives, working collaboratively with colleagues across the organization.
The ideal candidate will have experience investing in seed stage investments in emerging markets, building strong relationships with investors and management teams, developing pipeline ideas with a view on financial inclusion business models in key markets globally and is passionate about social impact – while maintaining disciplined focus on delivering commercial returns to investors.
Responsibilities: Position Summary
The Managing Director will be responsible for leading fundraising efforts, generating deal flow, building relationships with investors, structuring investments/ leading deal negotiations, serving on boards, fundraising for portfolio companies and developing exit opportunities.
Key areas of responsibility include:
- Lead fundraising efforts from likeminded investors;
- Lead efforts in developing a pipeline and portfolio of seed stage digitally enabled financial services companies that have the potential to scale and become demonstration models worldwide;
- Lead negotiations of new deals and follow-ons, transaction documentation, investment committee communications, and ultimately, sales and exits;
- Represent Accion and serve on Venture Lab’s investment committee;
- Build good working relationships with co-investors/limited partners;
- Represent Accion on portfolio company boards;
- Integrate with and influence investee boards and senior management of portfolio companies;
- Provide strategic support to portfolio companies, such as input on strategic initiatives and strategies to grow and scale operations and clients;
- Cultivate and manage donor funding relationships in coordination with Resource Development;
- Identify industry trends and themes to inform Venture Lab’s strategy, advise portfolio companies and provide industry thought leadership through speaking engagements, blogs, articles, etc.
- Represent Venture Lab in conferences, discussion forums, and other knowledge sharing and networking spaces to promote Accion and be an industry thought leader;
- Manage a global team of 10-12 people, including recruitment, training and team development; serve as coach and mentor, motivating team members with vision and passion, and ensuring clear expectations and accountability;
- Build, lead, and uphold a culture that attracts and retains top talent, and ensures a high performing, respectful, and inclusive work culture;
- Participate actively as a member of Accion’s Operating Committee (senior management team), working collaboratively with colleagues across the organization on Venture Lab and broader organizational initiatives and promoting internal knowledge sharing and cross-collaboration.
- At least 15+ years of post-college work experience, with significant time spent working in or with startups or growth-stage enterprises as an entrepreneur, manager and/or principal investor, ideally in emerging markets;
- Proven investing and exits track record in financial services / financial inclusion;
- Outstanding relationship management skills and ability to earn respect of colleagues, investors and enterprises;
- Existing network within impact investing and emerging markets;
- Experience at the senior management or governance level of developing and implementing strategies for startups or growth-stage enterprises, ideally in inclusive financial service providers;
- Ability to raise capital, influence strategies and develop investment theses;
- Experience in developing senior executive presentations and communications;
- Exceptional written, communication and presentation skills, Strong oral and written communication skills in English required, other languages a plus;
- Strong attention to delivery and follow through;
- Ability to work independently while leading a global team;
- Pragmatic problem-solver, forward thinker with independence of thought;
- Operational experience in financial services or fintech
- Cultural sensitivity with ability to interact effectively with colleagues and partners from diverse backgrounds and multi-cultural environments;
- Alignment with and embodiment of our team values:
- The Venture Lab team’s values define not just how we work with each other, but also how we work with our portfolio companies and with ourselves. We are curious seekers of new ideas, constantly trying to improve our work and gain insight to new ways of thinking. We strive for excellence, producing top-quality output and serving as a model for the industry. We are informed risk-takers, existing to go places where others don’t and not being afraid to make our perspectives known. We are human-driven, acting with respect, integrity and humility. We are supportive and collaborative, energized by working as a team and working to support the broader ecosystem.
- Venture Lab is a place for hard work – and for fun. We recognize the importance of what we do; we’re tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges, questioning the status quo, and addressing critical gaps. As pioneering seed stage fintech for inclusion investors, we have the ability to be catalytic – and we don’t take this lightly. We focus on team learning and reflection through deep dives and quarterly retreats, and our entrepreneurial environment builds autonomy and ownership, so that we’re empowered to make decisions and shape a nascent industry. At the same time, we ensure that we’re still laughing while doing it; whether at team happy hours, lunch and learns, or game nights, we energize each other both inside and outside of the office.
- Interested in our mission and working globally.
- Willingness to embody our values of excellence, respect and passion for social change.
- Excellence: Accion staff should always put forth their best effort in all activities, strive for high quality of collective and individual performance; and demonstrate honesty and integrity at all times while in the workplace and while working on behalf of the organization.
- Respect: Accion staff should value one another’s roles and responsibilities as much as their own, be encouraging, and value the diverse and unique perspectives of colleagues. They should honor obligations and commitments to each other and to external partners.
- Passion for Social Change: Accion staff should be committed to making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate, value the greater good of the organization over personal gain, and promote a productive workplace by acknowledging the accomplishments of others.
- Willingness to travel up to 40% of the time.
- Strong oral and written communication skills in English required, other languages a plus.
If interested, please apply here.