A New Chapter for MIX: Two Shifts for Greater Impact
4 September 2019 - Camilla Nestor, MIX CEO
A New Chapter for MIX: Two Shifts for Greater Impact
In the context of a rapidly evolving landscape for inclusive finance, we are making two important shifts to increase our value to the sector.
- We are refocusing our efforts on catalytic data initiatives in fintech, digital and agricultural finance. We will be exclusively focused on these initiatives, which ensure equitable capital flows, encourage the growth of inclusive markets, and support informed thinking on the future of financial services. We'll be announcing new partnerships in the coming weeks and months to further this work.
- We are transitioning the dataset powering MIX Market to the World Bank’s Data Catalog, which consolidates access to the World Bank’s flagship datasets. In this new home, the dataset covering thousands of microfinance providers will be open to the public and can be combined with other global finance and development data for richer insights. As part of this transition happening in Q4 2019, MIX will no longer offer our microfinance subscription data products and will conclude ongoing data collection.
Together, these strategic shifts will allow MIX to focus on the growing areas where we can have a transformational impact. MIX’s catalytic data initiatives have been developed in direct response to what we hear from investors and funders: a need for data standards and solutions that create visibility and transparency, allowing capital to flow to emerging spaces and ensuring healthy market growth.
We are redoubling efforts to catalyze growth in sectors like fintech, digital and agricultural finance
Our team at MIX has a wealth of experience addressing information asymmetries in traditional financial services. We are now applying this experience to sectors such as fintech, digital financial services, and agricultural finance. We are developing common data standards and language, providing clarity around complex data, and generating strategic insights to help these sectors flourish.
Take fintech as an example. The fintech industry is booming with more than USD 100 billion invested in 2018. Yet it's unclear whether that excitement is translating to real impact for the world’s three billion financially underserved people. With support from key partners, MIX implemented the inaugural Inclusive Fintech 50 competition to make early-stage fintechs more visible to investors and others who can help them scale. The selection criteria, piloted across 400 eligible applications, allowed us to test data standards for evaluating and comparing inclusive fintechs, which will feed into the data solutions we are currently building.
Similarly, MIX leads the aggregation and analysis of agricultural lending data for the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF). The 12 members of CSAF invest $700 million a year into agricultural enterprises and MIX provides strategic insight into their allocation of capital. Building on this work and the recent launch of an open data portal with the largest publicly available data on agricultural finance funding flows, MIX will soon partner to create greater visibility and transparency into agricultural small and medium enterprises.
Transitioning the MIX Market dataset will enable richer insights
Through MIX Market – the microfinance data service operated by MIX and covering thousands of financial service providers – dozens of data points for each provider have been collected, analyzed, and reported for more than 15 years. Thanks to the commitment of our team, the support of funders, and the dedication of financial service providers, MIX Market made an important contribution to the development of microfinance and financial inclusion. This extensive data collection, analysis, and dissemination increased transparency and helped to unlock billions in impact investment capital. We are immensely grateful to our team, funders, and financial service providers for their significant contributions to MIX Market.
In Q4 2019, we will make the ground-breaking dataset that powered our microfinance data service widely available by transitioning it to the World Bank’s Data Catalog. As part of this transition, MIX Market will no longer offer subscription data products like MIX Intelligence or MIX Essentials and will conclude ongoing data collection.
There are two factors that drove this decision:
- First, investors are diversifying their portfolios to areas such as agriculture, fintech, and energy. While we have made progress building a viable business model for the MIX Market microfinance data service, the costs to collect private data paired with increased demand for services in other areas made it difficult to sustain.
- Second, we have an opportunity to consolidate the microfinance dataset with in the World Bank’s Data Catalog, “de-siloing” the information for greater impact. The data will be more accessible to a broader range of users. The World Bank’s Data Catalog is the major hub for data on impact and human development, including the World Development Indicators and the Global Findex.
We are honored to work closely with funders, investors, and financial service providers committed to building transparency in, and unlocking capital for, inclusive financial services. That work will continue as we apply learnings from operating the MIX Market microfinance data service to new data solutions in emerging areas.
We are entering a new chapter for MIX in a rapidly evolving industry
As we enter this new chapter, MIX is dedicated to keeping pace with a changing environment. Our catalytic data initiatives make use of agile, iterative processes to reflect the dynamism of the financial services industry. As we intensify our efforts in new areas, we will apply the knowledge we've amassed and lessons we've learned from more than a decade of data and insight generation in inclusive financial services.
These strategic shifts allow MIX to leverage our strengths – in data expertise, in building networks of data providers and users, and as a neutral, third-party data partner – to drive impact. Inclusive financial services are poised to play a critical role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. As a sector, we have an opportunity to evolve together and alongside technology in order to develop inclusive economies.
I am excited about this sector-wide push toward de-siloed data and collaboration, and I am pleased to lead MIX in this direction. If you would like to stay updated on the latest MIX news follow us on Twitter or sign up for our email newsletter.
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