Kenyan startups among winners at Citi Mobile Challenge


Kenyan startups Umati Capital and Kyatabu have been named among the winners of the Citi Mobile Challenge, walking away with US$25,000 each.

Disrupt Africa reported in February international bank Citi launched the Mobile Challenge, inviting developers from around the world to build innovative solutions based on Citi’s digital platform.

Teams from 18 countries had presented 77 working prototypes to Citi executives and technology influencers at demo days held in Jerusalem, London, Nairobi and Warsaw.

Four winners have now been chosen to share US$100,000 in cash, with Kenya’s Umati Capital chosen for its “Umati Supply Chain Finance Solution” and Kytabu for its app. The United Kingdom’s (UK’s) Swave was also amongst the winners, as was Trade It from the United States (US).

“Each award recipient demonstrated a maniacal focus on creating a truly distinctive client experience. Without that focus it will be difficult to be successful over the long-term,” said Jim Cowles, chief executive officer (CEO) of Citi for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

“As banks continue to redefine themselves, they must work with the broader fintech community to discover fresh ideas that can help create the client experience of tomorrow. That’s why we’re here and that is what will help determine our long-term success.”

Heather Cox, chief client experience, digital and marketing officer for global consumer banking, said Citi had invited technology developers to reimagine digital banking.

“They presented solutions that could transform financial services and fuel progress in other industries like transportation and education. These developers are truly inspiring. Selecting the top innovations was a challenge and we are excited to explore bringing their solutions to market,” she said.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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