Frontier and Growth Markets | March 1, 2022

Catalyst Fund backs fintech startups to boost resilience in climate-vulnerable communities.

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, March 1 – The new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes clear that nature-dependent and low-income communities are being hit disproportionately hard. “Existing tools designed to help them understand and prepare for climate risks, and to bounce back from climate shocks, aren’t reaching them due to cost and access barriers,” Catalyst Fund’s Maelis Carraro told ImpactAlpha.

Six startups from Latin America and Africa join the tenth cohort of Catalyst’s fintech accelerator. Their focus: designing financial services with a climate-resilience lens.

Mexico’s Koltin is offering digital health insurance and preventative care to a growing senior population. Argentina and Mexico-based Mujer Financiera is helping underserved women improve their financial health and literacy. Kenya’s Tulix has designed a digital payment wallet for African migrants and the beneficiaries of their remittance payments. 

Catalyst Fund’s recent investment brief identifies opportunities for early-stage and catalytic investors to support disaster and climate-shock recovery, livelihood adaptation and long-term economic resilience. “Agritech players have a big role to play and can embed financial services to smooth the incomes of smallholder farmers and increase their resilience to shocks,” explains Carraro.

Kenya and Nigeria-based TopUp Mama provides inventory credit to small restaurant owners. Kenya’s AquaRech is helping fish farmers monitor their fish stock, source feed and access markets and credit. In Nigeria, ColdHubs is providing solar-powered cold-storage on an affordable, pay-as-you-go basis.