Nigerian fintech company Advancio Interactive has been crowned winner of the Startup Istanbul Challenge, becoming the second African startup to win the international competition since its inception five years ago.
This year’s Startup Istanbul brought together over 4,000 delegates and 500 startups from 65 countries around the world; in a four day programme of keynotes, workshops, fireside chats, startup events and networking sessions.
50 startups were selected from thousands of global applicants to pitch live to investors in a two-day knock-out style competition.
The Challenge culminated in a Demo Day, with investors picking the top three startups.
Nigeria’s Advancio Interactive was selected in first place, for its COVr Branchless banking solution suite, which uses mobile phones, web and PoS devices to automate financial operations like account opening, agent-based deposit, cash withdrawals, funds transfers, bills payment and more, on the field by agents on behalf of banks and financial institutions.
Turkish parenting advice platform for mothers MomyHelper, and Indonesian organic farm produce marketplace Homage came in second and third places respectively.
The win for Advancio Interactive marks the second time an African startup has secured the top spot in the Startup Istanbul competition – currently in its fifth year.
Disrupt Africa reported in 2015, Kenyan fintech startup Nims – which operates an expense management software that aims to eliminate fraud and increase transparency – won the Challenge.