Monica Brand Engel focuses on Quona’s global investments. Monica is an investor and entrepreneur, having launched a number of investment vehicles and products aimed at broadening financial inclusion.

Before co-founding Quona, Monica was the founder and Managing Director of Accion Frontier Investments Group, a growth stage fintech portfolio. She also launched and managed Accion’s Marketing and Product Development Unit, where she oversaw the creation of new financial services to move the industry beyond microcredit, and worked in Mexico with Compartamos Bank, the largest microfinance institution in Latin America which IPO’d in 2007.

Before joining Accion, Monica worked with Anthuri Ventures, an early-stage equity fund based in Cape Town, South Africa and founded Anthuri Catalysts to help prepare potential portfolio companies for investment. Monica also worked at Calvert Ventures, the early-stage equity arm of the Calvert Mutual Fund. Monica spent her formative years in Silicon Valley as a commercial loan officer of a clean technology fund, and separately helped launch a $50 million multi-bank lending intermediary to finance small businesses and community facilities in California.

Monica started and co-taught a graduate level course on impact investing for seven years at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, with the goal of disseminating lessons learned and promoting investment approaches that will help mainstream the industry. Monica has also co-authored a chapter on equity in impact investing in a book, New Frontiers of Philanthropy, and was a founding member of the Impact Investment Advisory Council established by the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association.

Monica previously served on the boards of GloboKasNet, Shubham Housing, Paralife, Compartamos Bank, and Pay Rent Builds Credit. Monica chairs the Investor Representative Committee of LeapFrog Financial Inclusion Fund I, the first microinsurance fund.

Investments

Online international remittances

Why we invested

Azimo is a front-runner in the global P2P remittance market, offering a fast, low-cost and secure means to send money 24/ through a wide variety of channels in 195+ countries.

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Branchless banking agent network

Why we invested

GKN's systems and services enable banking and microfinance institutions, retail goods providers, and government entities to circumvent legacy communications and other physical infrastructures to provide an array of existing and emerging financial services products to the underserved.

Housing and home improvement finance

Why we invested

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Data underwriting for mobile financial services

Why we invested

Tiaxa provides a balance advance service for prepaid mobile phone users based on a proprietary cell phone behavior scoring model that provides users with a money advance when faced with insufficient funds in their prepaid account.

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mPOS and payment solutions for SMEs

Why we invested

Yoco is addressing South Africa's large card acceptance gap (high penetration, low card acceptance) by providing mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) devices and support to small merchants that unlock growth.

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Mobile payments and agent network

Why we invested

Zoona is a distribution business that works with partners to bring safe and reliable financial services to underserved communities in Africa. Zoona has recently launched Tilt, a B2B product connecting distribution partners and agents to enable bulk collection and payments.

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Working capital provider and last-mile distributor of fast moving consumer goods to informal retailers in East Africa

Why we invested

Sokowatch is aiming to revamp Africa's informal retail supply chain by leveraging e-commerce. Sokowatch enables informal retailers to digitally order goods for quick delivery, powered by partnerships with FMCG manufacturers, and has added on credit offerings to further serve its customers.

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