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AZ Tech Beat | May 23, 2019

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Startup eMoneyPool raises capital from Accion

Startup eMoneyPool raises capital from Accion
Tishin Donkersley

eMoneyPool (EMP), a digital microfinance provider that helps the underserved access capital through their social networks, recently raised an undisclosed amount of capital from Accion’s Venture Lab, a $10 million initiative dedicated to providing seed capital and management to disruptive and established early-stage startups with demonstrated revenue traction. The Accion U.S. Network is the largest microfinance network in the U.S. and helped create 63 microfinance institutions in 32 countries on four continents.

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“Digitized savings startups have significant potential to impact the social and financial inclusion of both existing users of savings circles and potential new, currently under-banked, users worldwide,” said Paul Breloff, managing director of Accion Venture Lab. “By automating the savings circle process, EMP addresses some of the key difficulties associated with traditional savings circles – limited geographical reach and time commitment – and offers further innovations to improve customer experience and provide an “on-ramp” to other quality financial services.”

Co-founders and brothers Francisco and Luis Cervera launched their Beta site in 2010 out of their own positive experience with money pools, also known as “chamas,” “tandas,” “ROSCAs,” and more, where groups of people who save together can take turns accessing the collective savings and use them for businesses, home improvement, education and more.

“We believe eMoneyPool can make a real impact connecting the underbanked to formalized lending institutions through the long established cultural custom of money pools,” said Francisco Cervera, Co-Founder and CEO of EMP. “We’re very excited to have Accion as a partner as we further develop our work. Accion’s longstanding history of work in microfinance is exemplary and we’re honored to be associated with them.”

In 2012, EMP was accepted into local incubator SeedSpot and has been on the fast track ever since. In September 2012, they were invited to the White House to take part in the White House Business Council as content experts of underserved communities and recently partnered with MariSol Federal Credit Union to offer the underbanked more options.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of, and bring awareness to, the growing startup community in Arizona,” Francisco said. “We think eMoneyPool will create opportunities for the underbanked all across the country and provide a path to mainstream financial institutions through a familiar cultural custom.

Read more about eMoneyPool here.

Learn more about Accion Venture Lab here.