PayPal Holdings, Inc. announced that it invested in Sweef Capital‘s Southeast Asia Women’s Economic Empowerment Fund (SWEEF) and Quona Opportunity Fund. The investment supports their shared mission to advance women’s inclusion in the global economic and financial system.
The investments are part of PayPal’s 2021 $108 million commitment under the UN Generation Equality Forum to advance financial inclusion and economic empowerment for women and girls. These are the first of the company’s forthcoming $100 million in capital investments into funds and other initiatives that are led by women or focused on serving women.
“When women become economically empowered, they not only elevate themselves. They also enrich their families and communities and propel the global economy forward,” said Gabrielle Rabinovitch, PayPal’s Acting Chief Financial Officer. “Through our strategic investments in Sweef Capital and Quona Opportunity Fund, we forge new pathways of opportunity and help advance women in the global economy. All are committed to catalyzing enduring change across vital global markets.”
Southeast Asia and economic inclusion
Singapore-based Sweef Capital is dedicated to enhancing lives and highlighting women’s potential across Southeast Asia. Sweef Capital is a woman-led fund that focuses on opportunities that respond to underserved markets and challenges in Southeast Asia. The fund’s industry-leading approach is aimed at leveraging investments that create a multiplier effect. The fund aims to improve sustainable livelihoods, promote quality education, create decent work, foster good health and increase economic growth. They seek opportunities in women-led enterprises, those primarily staffed by women and organizations exemplifying gender equality and diversity.
“PayPal has long been an innovation leader at the intersection of technology and finance,” said Jennifer Buckley, Sweef Capital’s Managing Director. “It paved the way for many other entrepreneurial businesses. Like us, PayPal recognizes gender-smart investment as the next wave of opportunity. Gender-smart investment is a https://apnews.com/article/maine-shooting-what-we-know-40e373f7f2f0e0fb012ad4b26f4b78cdway to deliver robust financial returns and societal dividends. We look forward to working together to take this opportunity mainstream.”
Global economic inclusion
Quona Opportunity Fund is part of Quona Capital, a venture firm that backs leading founders building transformative fintech companies across emerging markets. Quona invests in companies that are breaking down barriers to high-quality financial services for underserved consumers and small enterprises across India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. Since its inception in 2015, Quona has committed to drive financial inclusion and create meaningful impact through its investments.
“We feel thrilled to welcome PayPal, the world’s original payment innovator, as an investor in our Opportunity Fund,” said Monica Brand Engel, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Quona Capital. “Paypal is a venture firm with a global footprint and deep local expertise. We have witnessed first-hand the transformative power of digitizing payments in enhancing financial security, resilience and utility in emerging economies. PayPal’s investment serves as an endorsement of the work our portfolio companies are doing. They are empowering women and girls in emerging markets worldwide.”
In addition to these investments, PayPal continues to advance several pillars of its $108 million commitment through key partnerships. PayPal employees have long supported women entrepreneurs around the globe through the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women‘s “Mentoring Women in Business” program. The company will continue that support by joining the Foundation in its latest commitment to support one million women entrepreneurs by 2030.
PayPal is also providing a grant to Opportunity International. Opportunity is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization. It has a 52-year history of empowering women to transform their lives and their communities through innovative programs. By providing access to capital, markets and specialized training, Opportunity addresses systemic poverty. Opportunity helps their clients sustain their own small and micro businesses (SMBs) and grow their incomes. PayPal’s partnership and funding will directly support the organization in its expansion of the Women THRIVE Program. The Women THRIVE Program will empower women in India, Guatemala, Ghana and The Philippines to be agents of change.
“Opportunity knows first-hand that investing in women is both good public policy and good business. Women’s economic empowerment is an integral part of our mission to end extreme poverty,” said Atul Tandon, CEO of Opportunity International. “Our partnership with PayPal will provide over 600,000 women around the world with access to financial services like loans, savings and financial advice. This will empower them to build new businesses and establish economic security on their own terms. This enables them to take control of their finances and stimulate inclusive economic growth.”
PayPal has remained at the forefront of the digital payment revolution for more than 20 years. The PayPal platform is empowering hundreds of millions of consumers and merchants in more than 200 markets to join and thrive in the global economy. The app leverages technology to make financial services and commerce more convenient, affordable and secure. For more information, visit https://www.paypal.com.
About Sweef Capital
Sweef Capital is a Singapore-based impact investment firm investing in the potential of women and the future of Southeast Asia. As a private equity firm, Sweef Capital focuses on investing equity and quasi-equity capital in growth-stage companies. Sweef Capital is primarily in Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, where its experienced investment professionals are well-established. For more about Sweef Capital, see https://sweefcapital.com.
Quona Capital is a venture firm focused on fintech. They aim to expand access for underserved customers and small businesses in emerging markets. These markets include India and Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East (MENA). Quona’s global partners are experienced investors and operators in both emerging and developed markets. The partners back entrepreneurs whose companies have the potential to generate financial returns while promoting breakthrough innovation in financial inclusion for both consumers and SMEs. More: quona.com
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