Omidyar invests in expanding mobile connectivity to unbanked Mexicans

Microfinance Focus, September 10, 2011: Omidyar Network and impact investment fund IGNIA are leading a $13.75 million Series B round of financing in Finestrella, a mobile telephony services provider to low-income and unbanked populations in Mexico.

Finestrella enables unbanked consumers to acquire affordable postpaid mobile plans without upfront costs or the requirement of a credit card or bank account. The company's plans, offered in 10 cities across Mexico, reach over 40% of the country's population.

With the latest round of funding, Finestrella will expand the availability of its current offerings while developing new products and services, including smart phones and data plans that address the needs of its customers.

Amy Klement, Vice President of Investments at Omidyar Network, will join IGNIA on Finestrella’s board of directors. "There is strong evidence that expanding access to telecommunications can have massive social and economic benefits. Finestrella has developed a truly innovative model to do exactly that—enable greater access at significantly lower prices for the consumer,” said Klement.

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