South African startups Hello Paisa and The Sun Exchange, alongside Cameroon’s WeCashUp, have been named the winners of the Innotribe Startup Challenge.
The Innotribe Startup Challenge final event was held in Mauritius, with the three winning fintech startups beating off competition from nine other ventures in the space.
The winning startups received a US$10,000 cash prize as well as invitations to attend Sibos, SWIFT’s annual global financial services conference, which takes place on September 26-29 in Geneva.
Two of the winning companies were South Africa. Hello Paisa is a low-cost international money transfer solution for remittances, while The Sun Exchange is a peer-to-peer lending platform for investors to fund solar energy projects across the globe.
“My experience at Innotribe has been invaluable. The quality of the coaching sessions has been extraordinary, and the lessons learnt will stay with me forever. To represent the best the African continent can offer in the fintech space at Sibos is truly an honour and we are humbled,” said Hello Paisa managing director Ahmed Cassim.
The Sun Exchange founder Abraham Cambridge said his startup had been through intense coaching to help hone its pitch and identify strengths and areas of innovation.
“It is an honour and a privilege to be invited to present our international finance origination service to the Geneva audience, and demonstrate how borderless peer-to-peer lending holds the key to a cleaner and more lucrative future for not just Africa, but for the whole planet,” he said.
The third winner was Cameroon’s WeCashUp, which has created a cross border mobile money platform, enabling users to make secure payments via their mobile phones all across Africa.
“The competition has been an infinitely unique experience. I’ve been challenged so much by the coaches and I learnt so much that I think my team and I received everything to become a world class startup. I recommend Innotribe to all the startups who want to put a dent in the universe like us,” said Cedric Atangana, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of WeCashUp.
“Our partnership with the SWIFT African Regional Conference over the last two years has highlighted how much SWIFT’s member institutions are keen to understand the fintech innovation that is happening in their own communities and the importance for local startups to benefit from in-depth industry feedback and gain exposure at a global stage,” said Fabian Vandenreydt, global head of securities markets at Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute at SWIFT.
“It was a real pleasure for us to provide expert mentoring and in-depth industry feedback to all participating startups and we wish them a lot of success in their future developments.”