About Venture Lab
Accion Venture Lab is an impact investing fund that invests in and supports seed-stage fintech startups, catalyzing innovation in inclusive fintech and improving the way financial services are delivered to underserved consumer and small businesses around the world. Venture Lab focuses on companies that are post-R&D but have not yet proved their concept or achieved meaningful revenue traction, filling the support void for seed-stage companies. Venture Lab focuses on investment opportunities in the US, Latin America, Africa, South and Southeast Asia but remains globally opportunistic, leveraging Accion’s global footprint and 50-year experience investing in and building financial services businesses in emerging markets. In addition to financial support, Venture Lab provides strategic and operational support to its investees.
Accion is a global nonprofit committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. We catalyze financial service providers to deliver high-quality, affordable solutions at scale for the three billion people who are left out of — or poorly served by — the financial sector. For nearly 60 years, Accion has helped tens of millions of people through our work with more than 160 partners in 55 countries. More at http://www.accion.org.
We are seeking an Associate to work across our investments team and our strategic portfolio support function (called Portfolio Engagement) as well as to be an active thought leader in our industry engagement efforts. For Investments, this role will have the opportunity to build our investment thesis – and lead deal flow – in select geographies and support live deals globally, participating in investment screening, analysis/diligence, transaction closing, and portfolio governance. For Portfolio Engagement, this role will have the opportunity to provide post-investment support across the global portfolio, furthering the growth and success of our investees. Beyond this, the role will support Venture Lab’s brand building and drive projects related to priority topics such as gender lens and inclusive investing, fund performance, fundraising, impact measurement, and more.
The Associate will be joining a diverse team of global investing and operational experts that have invested in over fifty early-stage fintech startups across five continents. The position will be remote to start (location flexible) but expected to be based in Washington DC one the office re-opens. S/he will report to the Senior Director of Venture Lab and can expect to receive high-quality coaching, mentorship, and guidance as they build into a more effective and supportive professional in the impact-focused venture capital industry.
The role is highly entrepreneurial, spanning emerging market venture investing, consulting, operations, and entrepreneurship, with a focus on cutting edge innovation in inclusive fintech. We are looking for someone available to start as soon as possible.
Your work will consist of:
- Venture Investing: Assess new investment opportunities and development of investment theses globally, including representing the fund during pitches from founders, completing prescreening analysis, conducting background research and financial modeling during diligence, managing deal transactions and managing portfolio relationships and governance after investment.
- Strategic Portfolio Support: Provide in-depth strategic and analytical support to Venture Lab portfolio companies globally. This will include engaging with the investment team and portfolio companies to identify challenges and barriers to growth faced by the businesses; developing and scoping projects to address the areas of need; and working with the companies to execute on the projects through internal and external research, analysis, development of recommendations, and co-creation with the companies.
- Industry Engagement: Lead our fund’s thinking and industry support for gender lens investing. Develop knowledge resources and thought leadership around other key investment topics (e.g., insurtech, embedded finance) as well as areas of operational needs for early-stage fintech companies (e.g. product development, credit policy). Identify best practices across the portfolio and methods of sharing across the inclusive fintech ecosystem. Document and share learnings across multiple mediums with key partners and ecosystem players.
- Operational Support: Assist with ongoing Venture Lab operations and support future fundraising efforts, including creation of Venture Lab presentations and reports, portfolio company tracking and monitoring, and preparing materials and data for fundraising efforts.
- Bachelor’s degree and at least 3 years of relevant experience across management consulting, venture capital, private equity, investment banking, and/or technology.
Passion for entrepreneurship and market-based solutions to poverty.
- Strong research and analysis skills, including financial analytics.
- Ability to thrive in a dynamic, high performing team environment, and ability to work effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
- Outstanding relationship management skills and ability to earn the respect of Accion colleagues, investors and enterprises.
- Exceptional written and oral communication and presentation skills. Ability to communicate data and insights in a structured fashion.
- Advanced computer/web skills including Word/Excel/Powerpoint.
- Interested in Accion’s mission and working globally.
- Alignment with and embodiment of our team values (see below).
- Once COVID19 restrictions have lifted this position will require global travel.
- Experience working in or with startups or growth-stage enterprises.
- Domain expertise in financial services and/or financial inclusion, particularly financial technology, payment systems, and/or innovative delivery models.
- Language skills beyond English.
- Interested in our mission and working globally.
- Willingness to embody our values of excellence, respect and passion for social change.
– Excellence: Accion staff should always put forth their best effort in all activities, strive for high quality of collective and individual performance; and demonstrate honesty and integrity at all times while in the workplace and while working on behalf of the organization.
– Respect: Accion staff should value one another’s roles and responsibilities as much as their own, be encouraging, and value the diverse and unique perspectives of colleagues. They should honor obligations and commitments to each other and to external partners.
-Passion for Social Change: Accion staff should be committed to making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate, value the greater good of the organization over personal gain, and promote a productive workplace by acknowledging the accomplishments of others.
Accion Venture Lab Values:
The Venture Lab team’s values define not just how we work with each other, but also how we work with our portfolio companies and with ourselves. We are curious seekers of new ideas, constantly trying to improve our work and gain insight to new ways of thinking. We strive for excellence, producing top-quality output and serving as a model for the industry. We are informed risk-takers, existing to go places where others don’t and not being afraid to make our perspectives known. We are human-driven, acting with respect, integrity and humility. We are supportive and collaborative, energized by working as a team and working to support the broader ecosystem.
Venture Lab is a place for hard work – and for fun. We recognize the importance of what we do; we’re tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges, questioning the status quo, and addressing critical gaps. As pioneering seed stage fintech for inclusion investors, we have the ability to be catalytic – and we don’t take this lightly. We focus on team learning and reflection through deep dives and quarterly retreats, and our entrepreneurial environment builds autonomy and ownership, so that we’re empowered to make decisions and shape a nascent industry. At the same time, we ensure that we’re still laughing while doing it; whether at virtual and in person team happy hours and game nights or lunch and learns, we energize each other both inside and outside of the office.