With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are more determined than ever to double down and empower passionate fintech entrepreneurs around the globe. We strive to provide the support they need to build digital tools and services to help individuals and small businesses better manage (and ideally achieve) financial health and economic resilience – especially in these trying times.
To this end, we are thrilled to kick off this year with news of how we’re strengthening our talent bench with well-deserved promotions and new hires around the globe. We’re fortunate to work with an exceptional investment team who each personify our pioneering spirit and seek to discover and back new founders, new technologies, and new businesses that can achieve a fair financial system for all. Please join us in celebrating the following:
Sarah Morgenstern is our newest Venture Partner. A key member of our US investment team, Sarah excels at sourcing, executing and managing investments that improve financial health and create economic opportunity for American households. Her work with the Financial Health Network (FHN) and their long-term research study on how low- and middle-income American families are managing day-to-day finances inform our investment decisions each day and provide invaluable insights to our portfolio entrepreneurs. A Kaufmann Fellow, Sarah is a sought-after strategic advisor and tireless supporter for the founding teams within the US portfolio including Clerkie, Cushion, Propel, Steady, and Summer. In 2019, Sarah was named one of Business Insider’s 25 Rising Star Venture Investors.
“Sarah was instrumental in forming Flourish,” said Emmalyn Shaw, managing partner. “Not only did she help us better understand the voice of the underserved in America and incorporate the information into our investment themes, but Sarah brings deep industry understanding and serves as a valuable advisor to many of our portfolio company founders. With her focus, passion and humility, she epitomizes our company culture.”
Ameya Upadhyay is our Venture Partner whose investment work in Africa brought to life our firm’s mission. Ameya served a key role in launching Flourish Ventures – especially in the East and North regions of the continent – and is widely-respected among the country’s entrepreneurial community. A passionate and dedicated supporter of founders and founding teams, Ameya leads many of our embedded finance and infrastructure investments in the region, including Apollo Agriculture, Lidya financial services platform company, agricultural insurance provider Pula, digital payments platform Paga, and Nigerian fintech Financial Service Innovators (FSI), among others. Watch Ameya’s CNBC interview about how COVID-19 has affected Africa’s gig economy.
“If you’re an entrepreneur who creates economic opportunity in emerging markets, you’d be hard pressed to find a more supportive, thoughtful investment partner than Ameya. His industry expertise, compassion for the entrepreneur and his outstanding network make him a favorite among our portfolio founders – as well as the broader entrepreneur community,” said Arjuna Costa, managing partner. “We believe in growing a team from within and Ameya represents the best of Flourish.”
A warm welcome
With a surge in fintech innovation happening across Africa and continuing growth from among our portfolio companies, we’re thrilled that our newest investor, Principal Efayomi Carr, joined our team and is set to open our Nairobi office. Efayomi has a strong network in Africa and will work closely with Ameya to partner with entrepreneurs building tools and services for fintech – with a special emphasis on embedded finance and insurtech. Prior to Flourish, Efayomi was head of strategic finance for Lori, a technology startup building cost-saving market infrastructure for the trucking industry in Africa. Efayomi started his career co-founding Transparent Nigeria, a digital journalism and data-sharing platform.
“Our team growth reflects our commitment to shaping a more inclusive global economy,” said Tilman Ehrbeck, Managing Partner. “Even in the midst of the pandemic, we remained intently focused on iterating – consistently building our skillsets, growing our networks and making critical investments in key geographies and fintech growth areas. We’re a strong team with deep market knowledge and a passion to do good. We feel fortunate that we’re aligned in our work.”