12 semi-finalists chosen for Innotribe Startup Challenge


Twelve fintech startups have been selected to compete in the semi-finals of the second SWIFT Innotribe Startup Challenge for Africa, with three winners to secure US$10,000 each and the chance to showcase their products in Switzerland.

Disrupt Africa reported in December SWIFT announced it will host the Innotribe Startup Challenge for fintech startups for the second consecutive year in 2016, with the Challenge to form part of SWIFT’s African Regional Conference (ARC) held in Mauritius in May.

Innotribe today announced the 12 startups selected to compete at the ARC in Mauritius; chosen from among 89 applications for the contest.

South African startups dominate the semi-finalists; with five successful candidates.  These are GeoPay – a mobile application that lets people transfer money cross border instantly; Hello Paisa, a low cost international money transfer solution for remittances; Stock Shop which builds white label and bespoke financial products targeting millennials, levering emotional algorithms and artificial intelligence; The Money School, offering effective employee financial education to eliminate financial related stress, and positively influence productivity; and The Sun Exchange – a peer-to-peer lending platform for investors to fund solar energy projects across the globe.

Three Kenyan startups made the cut – Alternative Circle, which has created an app based marketplace to enable Financial Institutions to lend capital directly to end users without the need to build their own systems; BitPesa, claiming to be Africa’s fastest and most affordable bitcoin trading platform; and Ranis Capital, a marketplace to leverage customer invoices to provide low cost short term financing.

Two startups from Cameroon were also selected for the semi-finals: AMoney enabling cross border payments and unifying mobile wallets using blockchain; and WeCashUp, which has created a cross border mobile money platform, enabling users to make secure payments via their mobile phones all across Africa.

Nigeria and Uganda also have one representative each.  CashMadam – a mobile sales, and inventory management system combined with advanced analytics to help SMEs – hails from Nigeria; and Yo Uganda, which builds solutions that leverage existing mobile services to enable payments to be made through Point of Sales devices, mobile applications or online, completes the list.

These companies will now pitch their new products in Mauritius on 18 May, in front of up to 500 delegates from more than 40 countries, including potential investors, partners and customers.

The audience will vote for the three best startups who will be invited to Sibos, SWIFT’s annual global financial services conference, taking place from 26 to 29 September in Geneva.

The three finalists will also receive a US$10,000 cash prize each.

“For the second consecutive year, we are thrilled with the number and calibre of the African startups applying to our programme,” said Fabian Vandenreydt, global head of securities markets at Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute at SWIFT.

“The Startup Challenge is an enriching experience for every company participating as they benefit from expert mentoring and get that much needed exposure to financial institutions. We are excited to start this year’s journey and look forward to seeing the startups pitch their innovative products with determination in Mauritius.”



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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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