The GSMA Innovation Fund For Digital Urban Services

Thank you to everyone who submitted an application for The GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services. Applications are now closed and we are no longer accepting new submissions.

This page will be updated when the winning projects have been selected. If you would like to be notified when the winners are announced or to find out more about previous and upcoming Innovation Funds, please subscribe for updates or click here.

About The GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services

The GSMA is looking for start-ups, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises in Africa, South or South East Asia. These organisations should be leveraging digital technology to deliver urban services with socio-economic, commercial and environmental impact in the following sectors:

  • Plastic and Waste Management;
  • Water;
  • Energy; and
  • Sanitation.

Successful projects for The GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services will receive an equity-free grant of between £100,000 and £250,000 to scale their innovation over a 15- to 18-month period.

Two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, with most urban growth concentrated in Africa and Asia. This poses challenges to basic service provision as city authorities and urban service providers struggle to meet the demands of rapidly growing populations.

To build on the success of the previous rounds of the GSMA Innovation Fund, a new round will open for applications in May 2021 to scale digital solutions that provide essential urban services to underserved populations from low- and middle-income countries in Africa, South Asia, and South East Asia. Grants and additional support are provided to start-ups, small to medium enterprises, or social enterprises that leverage digital technology, especially mobile, to deliver urban services with socio-economic, commercial, and environmental/climate impact.

Online Events

In this introductory online event, we shared additional information about The GSMA Innovation Fund and provided you with guidance to help you complete your application.

Wednesday, 2 June (10:00 – 11:00 UTC+1) – Introducing The GSMA Innovation
Fund for Digital Urban Services
View the recording

Our week of online events explored all aspects of The GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services, offering in-depth looks at each sector and key areas of interest. 

We heard from past grantees, other industry funders, and enabling organisations on the state of digital tools for service providers, and explored the upcoming opportunities for innovators from the The GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services.

Monday, 7 June (10:00 -11:30 UTC+1) – Plastic and Waste Management View the recording
Tuesday, 8 June (10:00 -11:00 UTC+1) – SanitationView the recording
Wednesday, 9 June (10:00 -11:00 UTC+1) – WaterView the recording
Thursday, 10 June (10:00 -11:00 UTC+1) – EnergyView the recording

Additional information

If you would like to know more about The GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services, you will find more detail in the links below: 

If you have any further questions, please email 

This initiative is currently funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), and supported by the GSMA and its members.
Donor logos

Previous Fund: Digital Utilities Innovation Fund

Our Grantees

The Digital Utilities Innovation Fund, supported by the UK Government and the Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development, aims to test and scale the use of mobile to improve or increase access to energy, water and sanitation services. Launched in June 2013, the fund has now completed all three phases of funding. Grants have been competitively awarded to 50 organisations across four continents, reaching almost five million beneficiaries. A catalogue of all of the grantees can be found here.

Explore the map below to learn about our current grants and follow the links to read our case studies and key lessons from the completed grants.