Quona selected to “ImpactAssets 50 Impact Fund” Listing
Industry’s searchable resource of impact investing fund managers sees record number of applicants and assets, reflecting innovation and exponential growth
Quona Capital, a venture firm focused on financial inclusion in emerging markets, announced on February 24, 2021, it has been selected for ImpactAssets’ prestigious “IA 50 Impact Fund” listing for the second consecutive year. The listing, made up of private debt and equity impact investing fund managers, represents a broad range of geographies and impact areas of focus. More information is available here.
Quona Capital invests in financial technology companies that are expanding access to financial services for underserved consumers and small businesses in Latin America, Africa, India and Southeast Asia. The first Quona fund was sponsored by nonprofit financial inclusion pioneer Accion and was deployed in a strong portfolio of investments with two exits to date — the sale of Coins.ph to Go-Jek, and the IPO of IndiaMart, a B2B e-commerce company in India. In 2020, the firm closed its second fund with $203 million in commitments from a variety of global asset managers and insurance companies, investment and commercial banks, as well as university endowments, foundations, family offices, and development finance institutions.
The ImpactAssets 50 2021 (IA 50) is a free online database for impact investors, family offices, financial advisors and institutional investors that features a diversified listing of private capital fund managers delivering social and environmental impact as well as financial returns. This year marks the tenth edition of the IA 50, and despite a tumultuous year, total assets under management (AUM) among selected fund managers jumped to a record $228 billion in 2020, up from $181 billion in 2019. By comparison, in the IA 50’s inaugural year, assets totaled just $6.8 billion.
“We are thrilled to be included once again in the IA 50,” said Quona co-founder and Managing Partner Monica Brand Engel. “ImpactAssets has done important work identifying a great swath of impact investors who are working to deliver positive impact on the world as well as positive returns for investors.”
“ImpactAssets is focused on fostering deep impact investing with innovative investment solutions, resources and education,” said Margaret Trilli, President and Chief Investment Officer of ImpactAssets. “The IA 50 is a cornerstone of our efforts to help investors gain access to the resources they need in order to help double the impact of their capital.”
Quona was selected for the IA 50 on the basis of several criteria, including:
First-mover advantage: “Quona is one of the first investors focused exclusively on emerging market fintech, which has produced unparalleled sector and operational expertise in the firm,” noted Engel.
Global footprint: Ganesh Rengaswamy, co-founder and Managing Partner who leads Quona’s Asia investments, believes the firm’s “global/local” footprint is another key differentiator. “Quona has team members in the U.S., Mexico, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Nigeria, enabling the firm to support its portfolio by making connections across emerging and developed markets, and facilitating the cross-pollination of ideas, best practices and strategic relationships among potential partners, investors, and acquirers,” he said.
Diversity and experience: “Our team speaks a total of 14 different languages,” said Jonathan Whittle, co-founder and Managing Partner of the firm. “Our collective backgrounds as founders and builders of financial technology businesses in Quona’s target markets, as well as our work in venture, private equity, investment banking and microfinance, bring unique expertise to bear for our portfolio companies, and unique insights for our investors.”
Stats for Stories
Investment Targets: In 2020, the global pandemic and subsequent economic downturn affected communities worldwide, and IA 50 fund managers focused on some of those hardest hit. A total of 63% of managers targeted investment in rural communities, while 54% specifically benefited people of color and 48% were focused on advancing women-led businesses. Two-thirds (67%) of managers said their firm focused on underdeveloped markets where the market is relatively new, emerging, or subject to systemic challenges.
Impact and Financial Return: Impact fund managers remained focused on delivering both positive impact and investment performance. A total of 87% of IA 50 fund managers targeted market rate or above rates of return and 92% delivered either in line or above their target returns.
About Quona Capital
Quona Capital is a venture firm focused on fintech for inclusion in emerging markets. Quona partners have deep experience as investors and operators in both emerging and developed markets, and look for entrepreneurs whose companies have the potential to provide outstanding financial returns and promote breakthrough innovation in financial inclusion. Quona’s global team has supported more than 30 financial technology companies expanding access for underserved consumers and small businesses in Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Quona got its start through a strategic relationship with Accion, a global nonprofit with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. For more information, visit quona.com. Quona’s most recent impact report can be found here.
About the ImpactAssets 50*
The IA 50 is the first publicly available database that provides a gateway into the world of impact investing for investors and their financial advisors, offering an easy way to identify experienced impact investment firms and explore the landscape of potential investment options. The IA 50 is intended to illustrate the breadth of impact investment fund managers operating today, though it is not a comprehensive list. Firms have been selected to demonstrate a wide range of impact investing activities across geographies, sectors and asset classes.
ImpactAssets is a nonprofit financial services firm that increases the flow of capital into investments delivering financial, social and environmental returns. ImpactAssets’ $1.4 billion Donor Advised Fund and field-building initiatives enable philanthropists, other asset owners and their wealth advisors to advance social or environmental change through impact investment and philanthropy. Learn more at www.impactassets.org.
*The IA 50 is not an index or investable platform and does not constitute an offering or recommend specific products. It is not a replacement for due diligence. In order to be considered for the IA 50 2021, fund managers needed to have at least $25 million in assets under management, more than three years of experience as a firm with impact investing, documented social and/or environmental impact and be available for US investment.