July 18, 2022
Norfund invests USD 8 million in Integra Partners Fund II, a fund aimed at empowering tech entrepreneurs to drive access and affordability to responsible financial services in Southeast Asia.
Launched in 2017, Integra Partners is a multi-disciplinary sector-focused venture capital fund manager based in Singapore (“Integra”). Norfund is now investing USD 8 million in Integra’s second VC fund, Integra Partners Fund II LP (“The Fund”), which focuses on investing in early-stage technology companies operating in Southeast Asia in the financial services, insurance and healthcare sectors.
Norfund’s investment will provide capital to early growth stage FinTech companies and hence improve access to financial services for underserved population in some of Norfund’s core countries. With its proven track record and specific sector focus, Integra is able to leverage upon its unique position in Southeast Asia’s venture community to identify and access early-stage opportunities in target markets.
Norfund sees great potential in early-stage FinTech companies serving unbanked populations in developing markets. The investment gives Norfund opportunities to develop our own internal FinTech expertise, and we also see a potential to build a pipeline for direct investments through co-investing with the Fund.Fay Chetnakarnkul, Regional director for Asia in Norfund
The Fund will focus on investments in FinTech, InsurTech, and digital health, three sectors that Integra believes are inter-dependent, enabling them to take advantage of cross-sector opportunities.
The investment is part of a Norfund strategy to support tech-enabled financial inclusion companies at the early growth stage.
We are honoured that Norfund has chosen to commit to Integra Partners Fund II. We look forward to our partnership, and thank the entire Norfund team for their support in driving access and affordability of responsible financial services and digital health in the regionChris Kaptein, Managing Partner at Integra Partners
1 out of 4 don’t have access to a bank account
Access to high quality, affordable financial services is essential for social and economic development, gender equality, resilience, and livelihoods. According to new data from the World Bank, only 76 percent of the global population have a bank account —and 71 percent of people in developing countries.
There is also a gender gap – in 2021, 74 percent of men but only 68 percent of women in developing economies had an account.
At the same time, more than 90% of the world’s population has a mobile phone, and the report shows that mobile money already has made a difference in increasing account ownership. FinTech can also increase the breadth of available financial services.
Great opportunities in FinTech
Norfund sees great opportunities in FinTech companies and have recently also done several direct investments. This month, Norfund committed a loan to Wave Mobile Money, a FinTech company that operates in Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire. Last year, Norfund committed 65.4 million NOK to Amartha, a peer-to-peer lending platform in Indonesia with a focus on funding rural women, and 41.3 million NOK was committed in a loan to Lula Lend, a technology driven financial institution with a credit scoring model that enables them to more efficiently assess the risk of SMEs in South Africa.