Client name: GSMA

Project title: GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund

Duration: 2016 – 2020

Location: Multiple countries in Africa and Asia


Despite an increasing number of mobile products and services in emerging markets, for most start-ups, reaching scale is still a challenge. The UK government funded GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund works to overcome this challenge and bridge the gap between operators and innovators. Based on previous successful engagements with GMSA, Coffey has been selected to be the Fund Manager.

By enabling strong partnerships between start-ups and operators, the fund supports growth of commercially sustainable mobile products and services. This will help innovators to secure the funding and direction they require in order to bring their products and services to scale. In turn, operators benefit by gaining access to the most promising ideas. Overall, the fund enables the most impactful mobile solutions to be brought to the people and places that need them most, generating significant socio-economic impact.

We are responsible for setting up all processes, policies and procedures related to the fund management of the program.


Our team is responsible for setting up all processes, policies, and procedures related to the fund management of the program. Our work includes finalising eligibility criteria; managing and providing input on the selection process; reviewing all pitches and proposals; coordinating the independent review panel; advising on legal, ethical, reputational, and financial due diligence; managing fund disbursement, including monitoring; and communicating with all involved stakeholders.

Start-ups form almost all African countries and from selected Asian countries are eligible to apply to the fund, which will run in several rounds.


The first stage of the selection process has been concluded. More than 400 applications have been received, nearly double the amount anticipated. Coffey and GSMA will soon invite the 30 best applicants to prepare full business cases as part of their applications. At the end of January 2017, the independent review panel will select 10 to 12 start-ups to sponsor, and funds will be disbursed shortly thereafter.