African fintech startups among 11 selected for Mastercard Start Path programme

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South Africa’s Karri Payments and Kenya’s Kwara are among 11 fintech startups from around the world selected to join the Mastercard Start Path global network to scale innovation.

Mastercard’s six-month Start Path programme is a springboard to help the best and brightest startups maximise their opportunity for success, by learning from Mastercard experts and exploring co-innovation opportunities.

It opens the door to startups around the world looking to grow platforms across open banking, predictive financial modeling for small businesses, smart rental payments and beyond.

The latest batch of 11 startups has just been named, including two from Africa. South Africa’s Karri is a mobile payment app that facilitates fast and easy payments to schools and community organisations, and provides parents a convenient way to manage their child’s money.

Kenya’s Kwara, meanwhile, is transforming credit unions into modern, digital banks with a credit union operating system and neobank experience for their members.

“We are honoured to join forces with Mastercard and work on our shared vision to create financial inclusion for one billion people,” said Cynthia Wandia, Kwara’s chief executive officer (CEO). “We have seen how companies such as Flutterwave and Revolut have expanded their services in partnership with one of the biggest payment technology companies in the world. We are certain we can deepen our offering and together transform credit unions across emerging markets into modern, digital banks.”

The rest of the cohort is made up of Finmod (UK), Flourish FI (US), GenEQTY (US), KeyChain Pay (Hong Kong), Layer (Ireland), Osper (UK), Swap (Brazil), upSWOT (US) and Wellthi (US).

Mastercard has a track record of collaborating with startups. Since founding Start Path in 2014, the company has uncovered co-innovation opportunities and provided mentorship to more than 260 startups that have gone on to collectively raise more than US$5 billion in capital.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth across the fintech landscape, and more people are benefitting from the digital economy than ever before, whether they’re gaining access to credit for their small business through open banking or securely making payments to their child’s school from the comfort of their smartphone,” said Amy Neale, senior vice president of Fintech & Enablers at Mastercard.

“Through Start Path, Mastercard creates a springboard for fintech companies that are driving a more inclusive digital economy and helps them accelerate the way they change the world.”

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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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