Five African startups pitched at the global Innotribe Startup Challenge final organised by SWIFT yesterday, but ultimately missed out on the US$50,000 prize.
Instead, the grand winner of the event – held at the financial services conference Sibos in Singapore – was United States (US) startup Hyperledger, a decentralised ledger platform for digital assets.
Disrupt Africa reported in May five African startups had been selected to compete in the Innotribe Startup Challenge final, after 14 African companies made it to the semi-finals, held in Cape Town. The five African finalists were Intelworld, Notify, YueDiligence, 2Quins and ZAQ Finance.
In spite of African startups missing out on the grand prize, organisers said they were pleased to have taken the event to Africa for the first time and impressed by the level of fintech innovation on the continent.
“We were delighted to bring the Innotribe Startup Challenge for the first time to Cape Town this year, drawing attention to the innovation happening on the ground in Africa. It was an exciting step,” said Fabian Vandenreydt, head of markets management, Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute at SWIFT.
Hugo Smit, head of Sub-Sahara Africa at SWIFT, said there was a “genuine spirit of innovation in Africa” and that there is an appetite in the market for new business models and the harnessing of technology in new ways.
“I’m delighted that SWIFT and Innotribe are able to offer these young African companies this platform,” he said.