Fund management for mobile innovation
Core fund management partner, GSMA Mobile for Development
Proving the power of mobile in emerging markets by supporting innovative initiatives

The Mobile for Development initiative of GSMA, the industry organisation that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, aims to prove the power of mobile in emerging markets. It brings together GSMA mobile operator members, tech innovators, the development community and governments to identify opportunities and deliver innovations with socio-economic impact through a range of thematically focused funds. 

Coffey has worked with the Mobile for Development team as an Independent Fund Manager since 2008 and is considered a core fund management partner by DFID. We provide robust fund management systems and controls, based on our extensive technical experience. 

The GSMA Mobile for Development team is supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and other donors, including the US Agency for International Development and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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We have managed more than 50 grants, worth more than £20 million, across the following six funds
Mobile for Development Utilities (2013-2020)

Promoting the use of mobile services to open new pathways for affordable and reliable utility services to reach the underserved.

Ecosystem Accelerator (2016-2020)

Building partnerships between operators and innovators to support the growth of commercially sustainable mobile products.

Disaster Response (2017-2020)

Building partnerships between operators and innovators to support the growth of commercially sustainable mobile products.

mAgri (2014-2017)

Forging partnerships to support scalable commercial mobile services for smallholder farmers and the agricultural industry at large.

Mobile Money for the Unbanked (2008-2013)

Working with mobile operators and industry stakeholders to create a robust, relevant, and sustainable mobile money ecosystem.

mWomen (2008-2012)

Developing solutions to address barriers to women accessing and using mobile internet and mobile money services.

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The success of our ongoing relationship with GSMA is founded on a combination of our robust technical knowledge of fund management systems and controls, and our clear understanding of the realities and challenges of start-up environments and nascent markets. 

Our technical experience and expertise allows us to continuously innovate and improve our fund management procedures based on lessons learned. We manage competitive selection processes, which include establishing independent selection panels and online platforms for applications. We work with GSMA to develop fund parameters, concept notes, and proposal templates and to carry out due diligence.

We design and create donor-compliant policies and procedures, appropriate for start-up markets. Following the selection processes, we closely manage grant portfolios, monitoring progress towards grant agreements and impact numbers, and troubleshoot where necessary. We provide guidance and hands-on support to the programme teams and grantees, and cascade lessons learned across all of the grants.

Results and Innovations

Many of the innovative business models supported by Coffey-managed GSMA funds have already become proven successes, winning global awards and becoming transformative market leaders: 
  • M-KOPA Solar is set to reach sales of Pay As You Go Solar Home Systems to 1 million households by 2018

  • SafeMotos―an app that improves the safety of Rwanda’s motorcycle taxis―was named on the 2016 Nominet Trust 100, a global celebration of the top uses of technology for social good

  • ME SOLshare peer-to-peer microgrids won the Outstanding Solar Project Award at Intersolar Global 2016, the world's leading exhibition series for the solar industry and its partners