There’s never been a more invigorating time to be part of the financial inclusion ecosystem in emerging markets.
Monica Brand Engel is co-founder and Managing Partner at Quona, where she leads Quona's Africa, MENA and Cross-Border investment strategy.
Monica is an investor and entrepreneur, having launched a number of investment vehicles and products aimed at broadening financial inclusion. Monica spent her formative years in Silicon Valley, where she helped launch a $50 million multi-bank lending intermediary to finance small businesses. Monica also worked at Calvert Ventures and Anthuri Ventures—early-stage equity vehicles based in Bethesda, Maryland and Cape Town, respectively. While living in South Africa, Monica founded Anthuri Catalysts to prepare early-stage companies for investment.
Monica then joined Accion to set up and run a product innovation group and worked in Mexico with Gentera Bank (née Compartamos), the largest microfinance institution in Latin America, which went public in 2007 (NSDQ: GENTERA:MM). She was the founding managing director of Accion’s Frontier Investments Group, the predecessor to Quona Capital.
Monica holds an MBA and MA Ed from Stanford University and a BA in economics with honors from Williams College. She serves on the boards of Khazna, Wasoko, Twinco, and Verto, and is a founding member of the GPCA Impact Council. Previously, she served on the boards of Gentera Bank (née Compartamos) (IPO), Azimo (acquired by Papaya), GloboKasNet (sold to Nuveen), Zoona (acquired by Chipper Cash), Shubham Housing (sold to Premji Invest), Yoco, Tiaxa (acquired by BeMobi), Paralife, and Pay Rent Builds Credit (acquired by MicroBilt) and chaired the Investor Representative Committee of LeapFrog Investments, the world’s first microinsurance fund.
She’s half Peruvian and blessed with a fantastic husband and twins.