Dealflow | September 30, 2021

Softbank funding helps make Konfio and Andela emerging market impact unicorns

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, September 30 – Mexico-based Konfio and New York-based Andela both got their start seven to eight years ago with a message of economic inclusion for underserved people and businesses. Impact investors bought in. The two companies have both reached billion-dollar valuations with Series E rounds backed by SoftBank’s Vision Fund and other commercial and impact investors.

Konfio started in 2013 to fill a small business financing gap with alternative credit scoring and quick loan approvals. “We see technology as a great enabler to level a playing field that for a long time has been uneven,” said founder David Arana.

The company expanded small business lending during the pandemic while many banks scaled back.

Softbank participated in Konfio’s $235 million Series E round, which was led by LGT’s impact-focused Lightrock, Tarsadia Capital and QED Investors, valuing the company at $1.3 billion.

Early Konfio backers include Accion Venture Lab and Quona Capital.

Upskilling workers

Andela launched in 2014 in Lagos with the promise of making Africa the next tech skills hub for global companies. After its 2019 fundraise, the company fired its junior engineers and abruptly pivoted away from training entry and junior-level tech workers.

Andela now calls itself “a marketplace for remote technical talent,” connecting skilled tech workers to jobs worldwide. With remote hiring during the pandemic, the company says it’s “growing faster than we ever have before.”

Softbank led Andela’s $200 million Series E round, with participation from Whale Rock and existing investors Generation Investment Management, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Spark Capital.

Andela’s roster of early impact investors includes Omidyar Network, Social Impact Capital, DBL Partners and TLcom.