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EmergeVest Invests In World’s First Neobank For Female Entrepreneurs

·4-min read

Dr. Jessica Bruser

Dr. Jessica Bruser of EmergeVest has joined Lucy’s board of directors
Dr. Jessica Bruser of EmergeVest has joined Lucy’s board of directors
Dr. Jessica Bruser of EmergeVest has joined Lucy’s board of directors

HONG KONG, Aug. 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- EmergeVest, the Hong Kong-based growth-oriented private equity investment group, has invested in Lucy, the world’s first neobank focused on women entrepreneurs, through seed funding. In addition, Dr. Jessica Bruser of EmergeVest has joined Lucy’s board of directors.

Lucy will use the proceeds of this funding round to invest in its tech platform, expand its Singapore-based team and prepare for an imminent launch of its inaugural product, before expanding regionally through strategic partnerships.

Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of the culture and long-term strategy at EmergeVest. This investment, which allows Lucy to further support female entrepreneurs, is aligned with EmergeVest’s goals and values.

Jessica Bruser, Director of EmergeVest, says, “We are delighted to partner with Debbie and the Lucy team on their journey to provide financial services and opportunities for women entrepreneurs. EmergeVest is passionate about making a positive impact through our investments and we are excited to be a part of Lucy’s story.”

“We immediately connected with Jessica and the EmergeVest team and are pleased that they share our vision for supporting women entrepreneurs,” says Debbie Watkins, Founder and CEO of Lucy. “We are looking forward to Jessica joining our board and helping us to expand Lucy across Asia and worldwide.”

Previously, Lucy secured funding in an all-women pre-seed funding round in September 2020. Initial founder funding came from Debbie Watkins (ex MD of Fern Software APMEA), Hal Bosher (ex CEO of Yoma Bank, and Chairman of Wave Money), Luke Janssen (ex-CEO and Chairman of Tigerspike), as well as the Savearth fund.

Notes for editors

About EmergeVest:

Formed in 2013, EmergeVest is a global investment firm that seeks to build great businesses, provide innovative capital solutions and generate sustainable value for all stakeholders. With $500 million in assets under management and working in partnership with excellent management teams, EmergeVest invests across the capital structure at the intersection of supply chain, technology and financial services. EmergeVest provides ambitious management teams and founders with access to global institutional capital and expertise through a personal relationship with its team. EmergeVest is passionate about responsible investment in the secure and sustainable movement of goods, data and funds across the globe.

Acting as founders and hands-on operators, EmergeVest created EV Cargo in 2018, facilitating a step-change in value creation via a sizeable, scalable and diversified logistics-technology company, well-positioned for future growth. Now a global leader, EV Cargo is driving the transformation of logistics into a technology industry, underpinned by its values of growth, innovation and sustainability.

About Lucy

Analysis conducted just before the pandemic by Boston Consulting Group showed that if women and men around the world participated equally as entrepreneurs, the global economy would get between a $2.5 trillion to $5 trillion boost. Post-COVID, the need to support women entrepreneurs is even greater. Through her 20+ years working with underserved communities, Debbie saw firsthand that women were a financially excluded group, and Hal’s experience with his customers at Yoma proved that women were great customers. So the founders, realising that their first hand experiences and the research all pointed to the same thing, decided to set up Lucy, a neobank and community focused on women entrepreneurs.

The Lucy app helps women entrepreneurs set up, run and grow their businesses, with affordable financial services including fee-free accounts with Mastercard, no-interest salary advances, savings accounts, loan management, and low-cost remittances. Lucy also will be offering a community-based platform for women to connect with their peers and mentors for inspiration and support, as well as e-training modules and a networking marketplace.

Singapore is a city built on entrepreneurship, and Lucy will focus on two underserved groups of women entrepreneurs for their pilot launch there:

  1. Home based entrepreneurs or women with a ‘side hustle’, and

  2. Domestic helpers, many of whom are running small businesses in their home countries.

This second group will help drive expansion to nearby markets of Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar (Lucy has recently won a UNCDF grant to help support low-cost remittances to these countries).

Media contact:

For further information please contact:

Christen Thomson, Senior Director, Citigate Dewe Rogerson:

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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