Core Innovation Capital has set out to serve more than 10 million people, and save them at least $50 a month, for a total annual savings of $6 billion, in addition to helping them become more upwardly mobile. In just two years since its inception, the venture capital fund is well on its way. Through its investments in SavvyMoney, Plastyc, L2C, and Progreso Financiero, the fund is indirectly helping well over 5 million low- to moderate-income consumers pay down their debt and gain access to the financial services they need.

Spun out of the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) in 2010, the $45 million fund seeks innovative companies that not only have the potential to achieve above-market returns, but that have a vision to improve the lives of un- and underbanked consumers with responsible financial products. A CFSI strategic partner, the fund intends to make investments of between $4 million and $6 million in up to a dozen companies by 2017.

When looking for investment opportunities, managing partners Arjan Schütte and Michael Harris place priority on early growth stage, for-profit companies with a solid management team, a disruptive business model with the ability to achieve significant scale, and a deep commitment to serving low- to moderate-income consumers. Also important is a company’s ability to offer consumers increased convenience and immediate cost-savings, as well as help them build assets and credit, and migrate to more mainstream consumer products.