Global financial inclusion nonprofit Accion has named Tahira Dosani and Vikas Raj as new Managing Directors of Accion Venture Lab, Accion’s impact investment initiative.
Both Dosani and Raj bring an extensive working knowledge of Venture Lab’s work, having served as its Director of Portfolio Engagement and Director of Investments, respectively.
Prior to joining Venture Lab, Dosani led strategic projects and partnerships at LeapFrog Investments; managed investments and supported the portfolio at the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development in Dubai; led strategy for and launched key products at Afghanistan’s leading mobile network operator Roshan; and was a management consultant with Bain & Company and The Bridgespan Group.
Prior to Venture Lab, Raj worked in Mergers and Acquisitions investment banking at Evercore Partners, in microfinance investing and operations at Ujjivan Financial Services in India and Catalyst Microfinance Investors in West Africa, India, and Southeast Asia; and was a management consultant with Deloitte Consulting.
Launched in 2012, Accion Venture Lab provides patient seed capital and support to innovative financial inclusion startups in such fields as small and medium enterprise lending, alternative data and credit scoring, and consumer finance, among others, for people living in poverty worldwide.
To date, it has invested more than $9 million in 24 portfolio companies that are active in more than 15 markets around the world.
Venture Lab’s grant supporters to-date include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CGAP, Credit Suisse, MasterCard’s Center for Inclusive Growth, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Founding managing director Paul Breloff, who led the initiative in its first four years, is pursuing a startup in the human capital space in India and will remain involeved as a strategic advisor.