MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kenyan Mobile Money Service Providers Finserve Africa, Zioncell, Tangaza Acquire Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) Licenses, will Access Airtel’s Wireless Network

The Communications Authority of Kenya, the regulatory body for the country’s telecommunications sector, reportedly has granted mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licenses to three mobile money transfer service providers based in Kenya: Finserve Africa Limited, Zioncell Kenya Limited, and Tangaza Mobile Pay Limited. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroEnsure Raises $10m in Equity from International Finance Corporation, Omidyar Network, Opportunity International, Telenor Group; First-Time Investors AXA, Sanlam Emerging Markets

MicroEnsure, a UK-based, for-profit microinsurance company founded by US-based NGO Opportunity International, has announced that it has raised a total of USD 10.4 million from six investors including some of the company’s past investors: Opportunity International; the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the World Bank Group; Omidyar Network, a US-based social investment firm; and Telenor Group, a telecommunications company based in Norway. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroEnsure Raises $10m in Equity from International Finance Corporation, Omidyar Network, Opportunity International, Telenor Group; First-Time Investors AXA, Sanlam Emerging Markets Posted in Deals, Investment Funds, Microinsurance

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Rebtel Partnership with TransferTo Adds 50 Additional Countries to International Airtime Remittance Mobile App “Sendly”

Swedish telecommunications company Rebtel has partnered with Singapore-based TransferTo, an airtime remittance company that “interconnects mobile operators’ prepaid systems”[1], to expand by 50 the number of countries in which it offers cross-border top-up services to users of its mobile application, Sendly. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Rebtel Partnership with TransferTo Adds 50 Additional Countries to International Airtime Remittance Mobile App “Sendly” Posted in Deals, Mobile Money

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Gambia Women’s Finance Association Adopts Towerplane Software to Enable Doorstep Microfinance

The Gambia Women’s Finance Association (GAWFA), a nonprofit organization in Gambia with approximately 49,000 members, reportedly has adopted software developed by Towerplane, a Spanish software company, that allows the microfinance institution to provide services outside of bank branches using mobile devices. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade Donates $13m to Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP)

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Canberra-based government agency responsible for Australia’s international relations, trade and development assistance programs, reportedly will fund a three-year program with AUD 14.15 million (USD 13.13 million) to support the Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP). Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Opportunity Bank Serbia; MDO Arvand of Tajikistan; Bai Tushum, Kompanion of Kyrgyzstan Receive Smart Campaign Client Protection Certification

The Smart Campaign, a consumer-protection initiative launched in 2010 by the US-based nonprofit Accion, recently granted its “Smart Certification” to four microfinance institutions (MFIs): Opportunity Bank Serbia, which is controlled by US-based NGO Opportunity International; Microcredit Deposit-Taking Organizaition (MDO) Arvand, an MFI in Tajikistan that provides financial services to entrepreneurs; Bai Tushum Bank, a microfinance institution serving entrepreneurs in Kyrgyzstan; and Kompanion, an MFI that offers “development products and services”[1] to entrepreneurs and individuals in Kyrgyzstan. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Signs Deals with AB Bank Rwanda, IHS Holding of Nigeria, Urwego Opportunity Bank of Rwanda to Expand Microfinance, Telecommunications

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-investment arm of the World Bank Group, reportedly has signed deals with AB Bank Rwanda (ABR), a microfinance bank (MFB) affiliated with Access Microfinance Holding of Germany; IHS Holding Limited, a mobile services infrastructure company based in Nigeria that operates in five African countries; and Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB), a foreign-owned Rwandan MFB, in an effort to increase access to telecommunications and financial opportunities in Rwanda. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Elevar Equity, Omidyar Network, Saama Capital, WestBridge Capital Invest $27m in Equity in India’s Vistaar Finance for Lending to Micro-, Small, Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

Elevar Equity, which invests in “disconnected communities” from offices in India and the US; Omidyar Network, a US-based investor in “socially responsible” organizations; Saama Capital, an India-focused venture capital fund registered in Mauritius; and WestBridge Capital, an India-based investment company with offices in India, Mauritius and the United States, reportedly have collectively invested INR 1.6 billion (USD 27 million) in Bangalore-based non-banking finance company Vistaar Finance (Vistaar). Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: June 15 is Deadline for $132k European Microfinance Award: “Microfinance and the Environment”

June 15 is the deadline to apply to the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), a Luxembourg-based network of approximately 130 microfinance organizations and individuals, to win EUR 100,000 (USD 132,000) as part of the Fifth European Microfinance Award, which is themed “Microfinance and the Environment.” Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Tigo, Airtel, Zantel Link Mobile Money Systems in Tanzania

Millicom International Cellular, a Luxembourg-based telecommunications company also known as Tigo; Airtel Tanzania, a subsidiary of Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel; and Zantel Tanzania, a telecommunications company owned by Etisalat of the United Arab Emirates, recently announced an agreement to allow customers of the three firms’ mobile money services to send and receive money to and from users of all three systems. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL) Upgrades Rating of Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF) Microfinance

Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL), an Indian ratings, research, risk and policy advisory company, has elevated the rating of Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF) Microfinance, a microfinance institution (MFI) based in the Indian state of Kerala, to “mfr2.” [1][2] Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Lends $1m to Première Agence de Microfinance au Burkina Faso, $239k to Biotropical of Cameroon

Grameen Credit Agricole, a Luxembourg-based organization that provides financing to microfinance institutions (MFIs), recently informed MicroCapital that it has granted a 3-year loan of EUR 770,000 (USD 1.05 million) to the Première Agence de Microfinance au Burkina Faso (PAMF-BF), an MFI in Burkina Faso, and a loan of EUR 175,000 (USD 239,000) to Biotropical, a Cameroon-based fruit company that works with small farmers. Continue reading

Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Grameen Credit Agricole Lends $1m to Première Agence de Microfinance au Burkina Faso, $239k to Biotropical of Cameroon Posted in Africa, Deals

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Luxembourg Fund Labeling Agency (LuxFLAG) Launches Environment, Social, Governance (ESG) Label to Certify Investment Vehicles

The Luxembourg Fund Labeling Agency (LuxFLAG), a nonprofit organization that certifies the operations of investment vehicles that support microfinance and environmental initiatives, recently began offering a third category of fund label for investment funds integrating Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) principles in their investment strategies. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroVentures Invests $13.5m in Equity in Microfinance Institution Grameen Koota of India

Indian non-banking financial company Grameen Financial Services Private Limited, which is also known as Grameen Koota, reportedly has received an equity investment of USD 13.5 million from Italy-based private equity firm MicroVentures. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Absolute Portfolio Management’s Vision Microfinance Funds Loan $5m to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Azerbaijan, El Salvador, Tajikistan

Two funds controlled by Absolute Portfolio Management (APM), an arm of Austria-based asset group C-Quadrat, have distributed credits worth approximately USD 5 million to unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Azerbaijan, El Salvador and Tajikistan. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: SKS Trust Advisors Sells 7.6% of SKS Microfinance, Decreasing Stake to 4.8%

SKS Trust Advisors Private Limited, the India-based trustee of five mutual benefit trusts benefiting groups who borrow from SKS Microfinance Limited, reportedly has sold a 7.6-percent stake in SKS Microfinance, a for-profit Indian microfinance institution (MFI), to an unspecified buyer. Continue reading

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC), Colombian Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Superintendence of Corporations to Facilitate Lending Based on Movable Collateral

The International Financial Corporation (IFC), the private investment arm of the World Bank Group, has partnered with the Superintendence of Corporations of Colombia, a government agency that regulates corporations, and Confecamaras, the Colombian Federation of Chambers of Commerce, to launch a lending framework that is intended to facilitate financial access for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the country [1].

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Written by Comments Off on MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: International Finance Corporation (IFC), Colombian Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Superintendence of Corporations to Facilitate Lending Based on Movable Collateral Posted in Key Players, Latin America, Trends/Challenges