IFAD and German Sparkassenstiftung select 12 startups to facilitate access to financial services and technology for nine thousand households in Latin America and the Caribbean

Mexico City, August 24th, 2022

    • The objective is to reach out to more than 200 producter and financial organizations
    • The project will benefit 9 thousand households in 6 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean: Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras and Mexico
    • A 2.2 million grant will be awarded and distributed among 12 startups

 

Last Monday, Innovatech, a project implemented by the German Sparkassenstiftung and funded by the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), kicked off its activities. During an online event, the 12 startups selected to achieve the objectives of the Innovatech project were introduced: the idea is to generate a link between agricultural producers and fintech and agritech companies to facilitate access to markets and financial services, and thus contribute to a more resilient recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This project will involve important strategic partners such as representatives of ministries of agriculture and finance, non-governmental organizations, agricultural production organizations, fintech and agritech associations, banks, federations and other institutions from the project’s 6 countries. Some of these are the Association of Ecological Producers, Unión de Cañeros Guabirá (Sugarcane Growers), the National Association of Producers of Quinoa and the National Association of Producers of Oilseeds and Wheat in Bolivia; the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock; and the Bank of Development (BANDESAL) in El Salvador; The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food, and the National Coffee Association in Guatemala;

the Foundation for Business Development and the Secretariat of Agriculture and Livestock (PRONAGRO), and the Project Management Unit (UAP) in Honduras; Konsey Nasyonal Finansman Popile (KNFP) in Haiti; and various Trusts Established in Relation to Agriculture (FIRA) and the Rural Development Directorate of the Mexican State Farming Secretariat in Mexico.  

All of these stakeholders are essential as throughout the program they will facilitate the connecting of startups to the project’s target groups and will convey knowledge, information and experience on the economic and social context of project countries. In addition, the program is being supported by benefit partners who will be providing mentoring programs to startups and productive organizations.  

The 12 selected startups have sufficient strength and expertise in implementing fintech and agritech solutions, as well as a consolidated customer base in the countries where they operate. Between August 2022 and June 2023, startups will be working in project countries to adapt the innovative solutions described below that will contribute to the strengthening of the rural sector.  

    • Sube Latinoamérica (Honduras) is a fintech that facilitates the construction of websites, payment gateways, fee collection links and discount coupons, focused on MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises). Country of origin: Honduras.  
    • AgroDigital (Honduras) is a fintech with an application that facilitates the modernization of rural and community bank management approaches, seeking to increase the presence of the banking systems among agricultural producers. Country of origin: Honduras.   
    • Alfi (El Salvador) is a fintech with a web platform and app for literacy, education and financial inclusion. Country of origin: Chile.  
    • Acceso-Extensio (El Salvador) is an agtech that offers a digital field agent to provide hands-on critical crop data in a timely manner. Country of origin: México.  
    • Mannitòks (Haiti) is a fintech that offers digital banking and wire transfer services. Country of origin: Haiti.  
    • Haitipay (Haiti) is a fintech offering electronic transfers, digital wallet and financial services. Country of origin: Haiti.  
    • Verqor (Mexico) is a fintech that offers secure loans for the purchase of farming inputs. Country of origin: México.  
    • Nilus (Mexico) is an agtech with technology for the community purchase of low-cost food at risk of being put to waste. Country of origin: Argentina.  
    • ImixLatam (Guatemala) is a fintech as a service with an agricultural credit marketplace. Country of origin: Colombia  
    • SiembraCo (Guatemala) is an agtech that enables the creation of crops on a digital basis by connecting clients with farmers. Country of origin: Colombia  
    • Hola Tractor (Bolivia) is an agtech for rental of machinery, tractors and supplies for farming. Country of origin: Bolivia.  
    • Tu Gerente (Bolivia) is a fintech that enables inventory management and general business reporting. Country of origin: Bolivia. 
       

During her speech, Innovatech director Christina Olsen said that,  

“In Innovatech, unlike traditional acceleration programs, we seek to develop sustainable business models in the long term, thus generating a positive impact on rural areas and the agricultural sector. In the selection of the 12 startups, we did not look for unicorns or companies already highly financed, but rather we focused on companies founded in Latin America, with good labor ethics and a great interest in contributing to the rural development of their countries. In order to generate diversity between the teams and our startups, the participation of women in leadership positions was also a very important part of the criteria.” Christina Olsen, Innovatech project director.  

Enrique Hennings, Lead Technical Specialist in Rural Markets and Enterprises of IFAD, mentioned the following:   

“Innovatech is a very important grant to IFAD. This is the first time that 12 technology companies have been financed to boost the agricultural sector.” He further stressed that these startups have become IFAD’s strategic partners, because they have a responsibility to drive their businesses forward and a duty to support the most vulnerable people in the countries where they will be operating. “Both IFAD and the German Sparkassenstiftung are confident that they will meet the objectives with excellence. Innovatech has generated a lot of expectation within IFAD, and once we reach the objectives of this grant, many new doors will be opened”.  

A 2.2 million grant will be distributed among the 12 startups selected for the implementation of various technology solutions in 6 Latin American countries.  

About:  

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) 

IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized agency of the United Nations based in Rome. Since 1978, Fund has allocated US$22.400 million in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have benefited some 512 million people. IFAD invests in rural people around the world, empowering them to increase their food security, enhance the nutrition of their families and increase their income, thus helping them to take control of their own development.  

German Sparkassenstiftung (DSIK)  

This is a non-profit organization for international cooperation, whose objective is to boost the local financial sector of developing countries. It is part of the Sparkassen Financial Group, the market leader in private and corporate banking in Germany and one of the largest financial groups in Europe.  

“Innovatech is a very important grant to IFAD. This is the first time that 12 technology companies have been financed to boost the agricultural sector.” He further stressed that these startups have become IFAD’s strategic partners, because they have a responsibility to drive their businesses forward and a duty to support the most vulnerable people in the countries where they will be operating. “Both IFAD and the German Sparkassenstiftung are confident that they will meet the objectives with excellence. Innovatech has generated a lot of expectation within IFAD, and once we reach the objectives of this grant, many new doors will be opened”.  

A 2.2 million grant will be distributed among the 12 startups selected for the implementation of various technology solutions in 6 Latin American countries.  

About: 

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)  

IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized agency of the United Nations based in Rome. Since 1978, Fund has allocated US$22.400 million in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have benefited some 512 million people. IFAD invests in rural people around the world, empowering them to increase their food security, enhance the nutrition of their families and increase their income, thus helping them to take control of their own development.  

German Sparkassenstiftung (DSIK)  

This is a non-profit organization for international cooperation, whose objective is to boost the local financial sector of developing countries. It is part of the Sparkassen Financial Group, the market leader in private and corporate banking in Germany and one of the largest financial groups in Europe.  

“Innovatech is a very important grant to IFAD. This is the first time that 12 technology companies have been financed to boost the agricultural sector.” He further stressed that these startups have become IFAD’s strategic partners, because they have a responsibility to drive their businesses forward and a duty to support the most vulnerable people in the countries where they will be operating. “Both IFAD and the German Sparkassenstiftung are confident that they will meet the objectives with excellence. Innovatech has generated a lot of expectation within IFAD, and once we reach the objectives of this grant, many new doors will be opened”.  

A 2.2 million grant will be distributed among the 12 startups selected for the implementation of various technology solutions in 6 Latin American countries.  

About:  

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)  

IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized agency of the United Nations based in Rome. Since 1978, Fund has allocated US$22.400 million in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have benefited some 512 million people. IFAD invests in rural people around the world, empowering them to increase their food security, enhance the nutrition of their families and increase their income, thus helping them to take control of their own development.  

German Sparkassenstiftung (DSIK)  

This is a non-profit organization for international cooperation, whose objective is to boost the local financial sector of developing countries. It is part of the Sparkassen Financial Group, the market leader in private and corporate banking in Germany and one of the largest financial groups in Europe.  

 

Ciudad de México, a 24 de agosto del 2022

FIDA y Sparkassenstiftung Alemana seleccionan 12 startups para facilitar el acceso a servicios financieros y tecnología en beneficio de 9 mil hogares en Latinoamérica y el Caribe  

    • Se busca alcanzar a más de 200 organizaciones productivas y organizaciones financieras  
    • El proyecto beneficiará a 9 mil hogares en 6 países de Latinoamérica y el Caribe: Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haití, Honduras y México  
    • Se otorgará un subsidio de 2.2 millones de dólares distribuido entre 12 startups  

 

El lunes pasado iniciaron las actividades de Innovatech, un proyecto implementado por la Sparkassenstiftung Alemana y financiado por el Fondo Internacional de Desarrollo Agrícola (FIDA) de las Naciones Unidas. Durante un evento virtual, se presentaron a las 12 startups seleccionadas para alcanzar los objetivos del proyecto Innovatech: vincular a personas productoras agropecuarias con empresas fintech y agritech para facilitarles el acceso a los mercados y a servicios financieros, y así contribuir a la recuperación de los impactos provocados por la pandemia de COVID-19 con mayor resiliencia. 

En este proyecto participarán importantes aliados estratégicos como lo son representantes de ministerios de agricultura y de finanzas, organizaciones no gubernamentales, organizaciones productivas agropecuarias, asociaciones fintech y agritech, bancos, federaciones y otras instituciones de los 6 países del proyecto. Algunos de ellos son la Asociación de Productores Ecológicos, la Unión de Cañeros Guabirá, la Asociación Nacional de Productores de Quinoa y la Asociación Nacional de Productores de Oleaginosas y Trigo, en Bolivia; el Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería y el Banco de Desarrollo, en El Salvador; el Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganadería y Alimentación, y la Asociación Nacional de Café, en  

Guatemala; la Fundación para el Desarrollo Empresarial y la Secretaría de Agricultura y Ganadería – PRONAGRO, y la Unidad de Administradora de Proyectos – UAP, en Honduras; Konsey Nasyonal Finansman Popile – KNFP, en Haití; y Fideicomisos Instituidos en Relación con la Agricultura – FIRA y la Dirección de Desarrollo Rural de la Secretaría del Campo del Estado de México, en México.  

Estos actores son clave ya que, a lo largo del programa, facilitarán la vinculación de las startups con los grupos objetivo del proyecto y transmitirán conocimientos, información y experiencia sobre el contexto económico y social de los países de proyecto. Adicionalmente, el programa cuenta con benefit partners que estarán brindando mentorías a las startups y a las organizaciones productivas. 

Las 12 startups seleccionadas cuentan con la suficiente solidez y experiencia en la implementación de soluciones fintech y agritech, así como una cartera de clientes consolidada en los países donde operan. Entre agosto de 2022 y junio de 2023, las startups estarán trabajando en los países de proyecto para adaptar las soluciones innovadoras descritas a continuación y que contribuirán al fortalecimiento del sector rural. 

    • Sube Latinoamérica (Honduras) es una fintech que facilita la construcción de sitios web, pasarelas de pagos, links de cobro y cupones de descuento, enfocados en MiPyMEs. País de origen: Honduras.  
    • AgroDigital (Honduras) es una fintech con una aplicación que permite modernizar la gestión de cajas rurales y bancos comunitarios que busca aumentar la bancarización de personas productoras agropecuarias. País de origen: Honduras.  
    • Alfi (El Salvador) es una fintech con una plataforma web y app de alfabetización, educación e inclusión financiera gamificada. País de origen: Chile.  
    • Acceso – Extensio (El Salvador) es una agtech que ofrece un agente de campo digital para recibir información crítica sobre cultivos en la palma de la mano. País de origen: México.  
    • Mannitòks (Haití) es una fintech que ofrece servicios de banca digital (banking) y transferencias electrónicas. País de origen: Haití.  
    • Haitipay (Haití) es una fintech que ofrece transferencias electrónicas, billetera digital y servicios financieros. País de origen: Haití.  
    • Verqor (México) es una fintech que ofrece créditos seguros para la compra de insumos. País de origen: México.  
    • Nilus (México) es una agtech con tecnología para la compra comunitaria de alimentas en riesgo de desperdicio a bajo costo. País de origen: Argentina.  
    • ImixLatam (Guatemala) es una fintech as a service con un marketplace de créditos agropecuarios. País de origen: Colombia
    • SiembraCo (Guatemala) es una agtech que permite la creación de cultivos de manera digital conectando clientes con agricultores. País de origen: Colombia.  
    • Hola Tractor (Bolivia) es una agtech de alquiler de maquinaria, tractores y suplementos para cultivo. País de origen: Bolivia.  
    • Tu Gerente (Bolivia) es una fintech que permite la gestión de inventarios y generar reportes generales de un negocio. País de origen: Bolivia.  

 

Durante su intervención, la directora de Innovatech, Christina Olsen, expresó:  

«En Innovatech, contrario a los programas de aceleración tradicionales, buscamos desarrollar modelos de negocios sostenibles a largo plazo, generando un impacto positivo en las zonas rurales y el sector agropecuario. En la selección de las 12 startups no buscamos a unicornios o empresas ya altamente financiadas, sino que nos enfocamos en empresas fundadas en Latinoamérica, con buenas éticas laborales y un gran interés en contribuir al desarrollo rural de sus países. Para generar diversidad entre los equipos y nuestras startups, la participación de mujeres en posiciones de liderazgo también fue un criterio muy importante.» Christina Olsen, directora del proyecto Innovatech.  

Por su parte Enrique Hennings, Lead Technical Specialist in Rural Markets and Enterprises de FIDA, mencionó que:  

<<Innovatech es una donación muy importante para el FIDA. Es la primera vez que se financia 12 empresas de tecnología para impulsar al sector agrícola» Enfatizó que estas startups se convierten en socios estratégicos del FIDA, porque tienen la responsabilidad de sacar adelante sus negocios y la responsabilidad de apoyar a la población más vulnerable de los países en donde estarán trabajando. «Tanto FIDA como como la Sparkassenstiftung Alemana tenemos plena confianza de que van a cumplir los objetivos con excelencia. Innovatech ha generado mucha expectativa al interior del FIDA y seguro una vez que alcancemos los objetivos de esta donación, muchas puertas nuevas se van a abrir».  

Un subsidio de 2.2 millones de dólares será distribuido entre las 12 startups seleccionadas para la implementación de diversas soluciones tecnológicas en 6 países de Latinoamérica.  

Acerca de:  

El Fondo Internacional de Desarrollo Agrícola (FIDA)  

El FIDA es una institución financiera internacional y un organismo especializado de las Naciones Unidas con sede en Roma. Desde 1978, ha destinado 22,400 millones de dólares en donaciones y préstamos a bajo interés a proyectos que han beneficiado a unos 512 millones de personas. El FIDA invierte en la población rural alrededor del mundo, empoderándola para aumentar su seguridad alimentaria, mejorar la nutrición de sus familias e incrementar sus ingresos, contribuyendo a que tomen el control de su propio desarrollo.  

La Sparkassenstiftung Alemana (DSIK)  

Es una organización sin fines de lucro para la cooperación internacional, cuyo objetivo es impulsar el sector financiero local de países en vías de desarrollo. Forma parte del Grupo Financiero Sparkassen, líder del mercado en la banca privada y corporativa en Alemania y uno de los grupos financieros más grandes de Europa.