Mercy Corps Ventures and Polygon Labs Partner to Empower Underserved Communities
Mercy Corps Ventures, the impact investing arm of the global development organization Mercy Corps, is partnering with Polygon Labs to accelerate blockchain solutions for underserved and low-income individuals and communities in emerging markets.
Founded in 2015, Mercy Corps Ventures (MCV) invests in and catalyzes venture-led solutions to help underserved groups join the global economy and has supported 41 early-stage ventures in scaling and raising over $333.9 million in follow-on capital. The MCV portfolio is 51% female-founded and centers around resilience-building solutions in adaptive agriculture and food systems, frontier fintech, and climate smart systems, so that those living in frontier markets can withstand disruption and plan for the future.
The hype of blockchain and Web3 solutions for underbanked populations has not yet been matched by the reality in emerging markets. While some real world use cases exist, most lack the measurable outcomes to build a business and impact case for these technologies. Mercy Corps Ventures has been actively piloting Web3 solutions to responsibly test, de-risk, and build the evidence base for promising, cutting edge innovation. These solutions leverage Web3 to explore nascent areas of their thesis, building resilience for underserved individuals and communities.
The partnership with Polygon Labs will have three major pillars:
- Funding blockchain pilots that will enable access to the financial system for traditionally excluded and underserved communities. Blockchain solutions can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the 1.4 billion people who remain unbanked, and enable an inclusive and equitable global financial system.
- A series of blockchain hackathons with developers serving emerging market users to increase education and awareness about how blockchain can help solve local challenges in the impact space.
- Running a blockchain bootcamp roadshow in markets where Mercy Corps has a presence, aimed to provide educational and informational sessions for local educational institutions, NGOs, and other organizations looking to improve operations through blockchain technology.
Last month, MCV launched the Crypto for Good Fund II to drive global financial inclusion and climate resilience through a series of pilots, building an evidence base to prove the scalability of blockchain-enabled solutions in making a positive impact in emerging markets. In the first phase of the Fund, launched in 2022, MCV received nearly 200 applications from over 50 countries around the globe. Applications for the second round are open until March 31.
The Polygon network is home to tens of thousands of decentralized applications, including some of the most prominent DeFi players such as Aave, Quickswap, OpenSea, and Uniswap V3. Major companies like Adobe, Stripe, and Robinhood have also turned to Polygon network, one of the greenest blockchains in existence, as their entry point to Web3.
Together, we can build an equitable future for all through mass adoption of Web3!