Process

Our Process

1. We designed a sourcing process that works for emerging markets

Countries

56

Applications

+700

We have years of experience identifying scaleable fintech startups through a process tailored for emerging markets. We invest significant time into each startup during our bootcamp, which gives us a clear understanding of who we want to invest in and gives the startup a chance to prove themselves. If you have the skills and drive, we recognize it and we know how to help you get to the next level.

Want a great example of what we mean by identifying scaleable startups and founders with drive? Read Benjamin Fernandes’ story – co-founder of NALA – to learn how we supported him through his process of building a mobile money app in Tanzania.

2. We work with founders shoulder to shoulder at our bootcamps

We invite the most promising entrepreneurs to our bootcamp where they will complete a prototyping design sprint and work ~100 hours with our team. Our bootcamps are the last phase of sourcing and are designed to help teams focus on product market fit, and to help us make investment decisions.

​We tap into our network of industry leading mentors and pair them with entrepreneurs to work hands-on for the week. Teams leave the bootcamp with real customer feedback and an expanded network of peers, mentors and investors. 


3. We bring in potential partners early, so we can understand their needs and build lasting partnerships

Potential investors, clients, and other partners join our bootcamp as mentors. You will work with them and our team to build a product that targets a clear market need. We know that with the right connections you’ll go far because we’ve seen it happen.

When Sidharth Garg, the founder of Teller, participated in our bootcamp, he met mentor Erwan Gelebart, the head of digital products for Orange Money Madagascar. Learn more about the partnership that developed between Orange Money and Sid’s startup, resulting in the recent launch of MoMo, a chatbot mobile-money assistant using SMS. 


DFS Lab’s six month accelerator program

We invest in startups that have a vision to solve real customer pain points and have a demonstrated ability to successfully build high growth fintech products and services. During initial mapping, our accelerator prioritizes three areas to help you scale sustainably.

1. Building a Foundation

2. Personal Development

3. Investment

We want you to have such a solid base that any pivot you make will be easy. We think about product market fit and what this looks like for you. We also work with you on the logistics of your specific organizational development, including team development, accounting, and legal.

We offer tools and expertise to help you grow as a leader and as a founder. Being an entrepreneur is hard, but with a community supporting you, growth becomes easier.

We know money matters and we know how to help you secure your next round. We’re there for you every step of the way, from refining your pitch deck, to introducing you to investors, to negotiating term sheets, to closing the deal.


“DFS Lab does an amazing job through the process and the weekly check-ins were invaluable to keep us focused and to keep us going.”


– Rose Goslinga, Founder of Pula