Catalyst Fund Project Team

The Catalyst Fund Project is managed by BFA, a global consulting firm that specializes in the development of financial services for low income people.

David del Ser


David is program director of Catalyst Fund and partner at BFA. David brings world class high tech skills in growing areas of to BFA to expand the company vision. He supports and promotes tech-enablement in the financial sector, and reaches beyond the financial services sector to other tech-related businesses and social investors.  David is also the founder and chairman of Frogtek, a business which provides app-based technology to enable small retailers in developing countries with better business tools. Frogtek was recently listed by the Wall Street Journal as having built one of five apps bringing the next billion online. He is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, an Echoing Green Fellow, and holds a dual Masters of Telecommunications from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Télécom ParisTech and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Maelis Carraro

deputy director | catalyst fund and inclusive fintech

Maelis is a deputy director of the Catalyst Fund program and of the Inclusive Fintech practice at BFA. Her work focuses on the business case of alternative delivery channels such as agent networks and mobile money and business models for financial service providers. She most recently managed OPTIX, helping financial institutions build better portfolios for their low-income customers. She joins BFA from the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group), where she advised and worked with regional teams on microfinance projects globally and advised financial institutions on how to implement strategies for responsible financial inclusion to serve the under-banked. Maelis has previously worked directly on microfinance product development for Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, on development and climate change policy issues for the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD), and impact investing for Global Partnerships, a not-for-profit impact investing fund dedicated to alleviate poverty in Latin America. Maelis also co-founded RemitMas – a digital remittances service for Latino immigrants in the US, which sparked her passion for entrepreneurship and fintech. Maelis holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a Master in International Affairs from Columbia School of International and Public Affairs. She received her BA Cum Laude from University College London, where she majored in Political Science and Economics. Maelis speaks English, French, Italian, and Spanish.

Kelly Nguyen

ASSociate Project MANAGER

Kelly is an Associate in Inclusive Fintech. Her expertise is in-depth research and building market competitive analysis. Kelly recently received a BSc degree from Babson College, where she studied Business Management with a focus in Economics and Entrepreneurship. She founded “Young Entrepreneurs Adventure Vietnam,” a youth development social enterprise for students, instructing and encouraging the spirit of entrepreneurship.


Jane del Ser

deputy director, Insights & Influence 

Jane is a Deputy Director of Insights & Influence at BFA. She is responsible for developing and delivering on the communications strategy for the company and for two new long-term Inclusive Fintech projects, FIBR and Catalyst Fund. Her areas of expertise include marketing communications, digital and social media, product marketing, email marketing, content marketing, program design and event management. She brings over ten years experience working with startups, social enterprises and nonprofits leading Strategy, MarCom and Product in hi-tech, mobile and social innovation. Jane most recently served as Managing Director at Center4, an initiative in NYC to increase uptake of technology by health and human service nonprofits to transform how services are delivered and improve outcomes for people served.


Matt Grasser

Data and apis

Matt is Director of Inclusive Fintech at BFA. He is a seasoned technologist and entrepreneur in the US startup scene. He founded and served in leadership roles in several NYC-based startups and more recently turned his attention to the developing world and is passionate about more pressing technology and data challenges in the financial and social inclusion space. Matt holds a BSc in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, and was pursuing a PhD in Physics when he withdrew to focus efforts on his growing startups: Bytemark, an international mobile payments and ticketing platform and LDLN, a post-disaster-oriented Locally Distributed Logistics Network that empowers “dark” communities without requiring an external power grid or internet/cellular infrastructure.

Javier Linares

Software Architecture and Product Manager

Javier is a Senior Associate at BFA in Inclusive Fintech. He works on projects that focus on supporting tech-enablement in the financial sector and brings skills such as software development, product design and management, customer experience and data analytics. For over six years prior joining to BFA, he built innovative technology solutions for mom-­and-­pop micro­ retailers in emerging markets such as Mexico and Colombia that helped them to track and control their business, create new revenues and be competitive. Most recently, he founded H-elium, a startup that offers low cost solar powered beach umbrellas to charge mobile devices.