Nigerian fintech startup Rise selected for Techstars & Western Union Accelerator

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Nigerian fintech startup Rise has been selected to participate in the US-based Techstars & Western Union Accelerator, gaining access to funding and mentorship.

Based out of Denver, Colorado, the Techstars & Western Union Accelerator is a three-month, mentor-driven programme designed to help startups build and shape the future of how money moves. Each participating startup receives US$120,000 in funding.

Ten companies selected to participate in this year’s class of the accelerator, including Rise, a digital wealth manager connecting Africans to global dollar investments. It will be the second accelerator the startup has taken part in this year, after it was selected for the second edition of the LABS by ARM programme, banking US$20,000 in funding and additional growth support.

“Being a part of the Techstars & Western Union accelerator is perfect for us because we get a chance to work with world-class mentors and leverage the experience of an established global player to really boost our ability to connect users to the best investments anywhere in the world. This gives us the platform and resources to build a world-class solution for our users,” said Rise founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Eleanya Eke.

Ethan Austin, managing director of the Techstars & Western Union Accelerator, said the programmes’s thesis for this year was “access”.

“Our definition of access is not limited to opportunity for those moving to the United States. It also means creating equal access for those in every community across this country. While we recognise that there is much work yet to be done and we all have a role to play in ending systemic racism and inequality, we stand proudly with everyone who is fighting for a fairer, more equitable system,” he said.

“This is a group of founders and entrepreneurs addressing challenges across the financial services system that have the potential to make a lasting impact in creating a more equitable and inclusive global financial system.”

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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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