African startups can apply for Mastercard Start Path Global


For the first time African startups are invited to apply to Mastercard’s Start Path Global programme, seeking later-stage startups innovating in the banking and payments space.

The six-month digital Start Path programme aims to support innovative startups developing the next generation of commerce solutions, and to help these businesses grow faster than they could alone.

Start Path targets later-stage startups – who have raised either a significant seed round, or Series A funding.

For the first time, Mastercard has opened applications to startups from anywhere in the world, in a bid to expand the organisation’s activity to new geographies and industries.

“Fintech startups around the world are designing a digital future,” said Amy Neale, vice president at Mastercard Start Path.

“They’re bringing a different approach to enhance customer choice and experience across the industry. Our work with these startups helps connect new technology with reliable, secure financial networks and processes to create an even more rewarding and seamless commerce experience.”

The programme features two in-person immersion sessions at which Mastercard and participating startups seek to understand each other’s goals and mutual synergies.

Thereafter the programme connects startups with a global network of Mastercard experts, gives access to Mastercard customers and partners, and the ability to innovate on top of Mastercard solutions.

Mastercard does not take any upfront equity in startups joining the programme, however the company retains an option to invest in graduating startups’ next funding rounds.

Applications are open here, until April 23, with applications reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Shortlisted startups will take part in a virtual pitch day on May 23-24.


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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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