In Episode 53 of the Investing in Impact podcast, we speak with Scott Onder, Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director of Mercy Corps Ventures, on investing in and promoting venture-led solutions to enhance the resilience of underserved communities and individuals.
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Scott Onder is the Chief Investment Officer at Mercy Corps, where he oversees the agency’s global strategy for impact investing, innovative finance, Web3 initiatives, and strategic partnerships with technology ventures.
He is also a Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director of Mercy Corps Ventures, the venture capital arm of Mercy Corps.
The firm focuses on investing in high-impact startups that develop inclusive fintech, climate resilience, and Web3 solutions in frontier markets.
Under Scott’s leadership, Mercy Corps Ventures has invested in 43 seed and early-stage ventures across Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.
Apart from providing capital, the firm offers strategic support, pilot programs, and partnership opportunities to help startups scale their businesses.
As an early investor in Wasoko, Goldfinch, Pula, and Ejara, Scott serves on the boards of portfolio companies that drive financial and climate resilience.
He is also an active advisor and angel investor in emerging crypto protocols. Scott is a magna cum laude graduate of Duke University and is based in the Pacific Northwest.
About Mercy Corps Ventures
Mercy Corps Ventures is a venture capital firm that focuses on investing in and promoting venture-led solutions to enhance the resilience of underserved communities and individuals.
Since its establishment in 2015 as the impact investing arm of Mercy Corps, the firm has facilitated the scaling up of 43 early-stage ventures, helping them raise over $396.7 million in follow-on capital.
The firm’s portfolio concentrates on solutions in adaptive agriculture and food systems, inclusive fintech services, and climate-smart systems and tech infrastructure.
Its goal is to enable those living in frontier markets to withstand disruption and plan for the future by catalyzing the ecosystem towards smarter and more impactful investments.
The firm’s focus on supporting underserved groups to participate in the global economy has led to its promotion of emerging decentralized finance (DeFi) solutions that accelerate global financial inclusion.
In partnership with companies, Mercy Corps Ventures responsibly pilots the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain tools to provide reliable and direct access to financial services for un/underbanked populations.
Mercy Corps Ventures plans to launch Fund II, the Resilient Future Fund, to invest in and support approximately 20 early-stage startups in frontier markets with solutions that build resilience to the accelerating shocks caused by climate change.
Entrepreneurs worldwide are deploying disruptive business models and transformative technologies to address the most significant challenges of our time.
These startups have the potential to reach 3.3 billion climate-vulnerable people, 1.4 billion unbanked people, and 162 million small businesses with innovative climate-focused and digital finance products that could drive their resilience.
However, they often lack sufficient capital and access to resources to ensure their ventures survive and scale.
Grant is the founder of Causeartist, one of the most influential impact business platforms in the world. Since 2013, Causeartist has been read in over 150 countries. Grant has personally interviewed 700+ impact entrepreneurs from around the world, highlighting innovations in ethical fashion, climate change, ethical technology, impact investing, and sustainable travel.