Social impact venture capital firm partners with mission-based companies to combat poverty
Makes first investment in XENO, a fintech platform helping millions in Africa to plan, save and invest
Plesion Capital today announced its formation as a social impact venture capital firm focused on partnering with mission-based entrepreneurs and companies to combat poverty around the world. Plesion Capital’s strategy is predicated on making pre-seed and seed investments in promising startups whose products and services are positively influencing the lives of people by helping to reduce poverty and creating new opportunities for economic growth.
In line with this strategy, Plesion Capital is pleased to announce its inaugural investment of $500,000 in Uganda-based XENO Corporation’s (“XENO”) $2 million seed round, which was led by Beyond Capital Ventures. Led by founder and CEO Aéko Ongodia, XENO is a fintech platform that helps millions in Africa to plan, save and invest for their financial goals whether they have internet access or not. For those with access to internet, XENO operates both on the web and as a mobile application. For those without, XENO can be accessed through mobile money and is already pre-installed on 14 million phones in Uganda. XENO’s free goal-based investment planning and low management fees provide the foundation to increase financial access for individuals who previously lacked access to quality banking and investment services. By encouraging and facilitating investment strategies, XENO is working to build financial resilience and independence for Africans.
Demonstrating the size of the market opportunity and the potential for XENO to have an outsized positive impact on the lives of many, most of the 428 million people working in Sub-Saharan Africa do not save or do not have their savings invested. For those who do, their savings consistently lose value to inflation and other charges. XENO’s innovative business model and easy-to-use technology is addressing these challenges and helping to solve other chronic issues including old-age poverty and perpetually borrowing from others. With a growing customer base and a 97% retention rate, XENO is expanding into key markets such as Kenya and Nigeria.
“Our investment in XENO aligns with our goal to impact individuals who are living below the poverty line,” said Ben Finlay, Plesion Capital’s Founder and Managing Partner. “Aéko is an outstanding leader who has built a practical and highly-scalable platform that has the potential to revolutionize consumer finance across Africa. We are pleased to partner with the company to offer our support as it advances its strategic priorities and grows its userbase.”
Plesion Capital is currently focused on African-based investment opportunities that have the potential to address major societal challenges across the continent. The firm’s focus areas include food insecurity, clean water access and improving infrastructure, both financial and physical. Africa sits at the intersection of a rapidly growing technology infrastructure as well as a desperate need for scalable solutions to fundamental challenges for poor and underrepresented communities. By partnering with likeminded entrepreneurs with sound business plans and pioneering products, Plesion Capital serves to help catalyze radical change that enriches the lives of underserved populations. Over time, Plesion Capital intends to expand into other markets globally.