Visa, a world leader in digital payments, is hosting its Africa Fintech Accelerator program’s first demo day on February 13th in Nairobi to showcase innovations from emerging fintech start-ups from 18 countries across Africa. Launched in June 2023, the program aims to enable Africa’s expanding start-up community by bringing expertise, connections, technology, and investment funding.
During the event, the first-cohort start-ups will pitch their innovations to key ecosystem players, funding partners, angel investors, and venture capitalists. The first program participants were selected from more than 1,000 applicants across diverse subsectors including merchant payment solutions, lending infrastructure, Banking-as-a-Service, and B2B marketplaces.
Visa has also announced that the program is now accepting applications for its second cohort. Seed to Series A startups operating in Africa and that fall under the following categories are encouraged to apply on the Visa website, with applications open until February 29th.
- Unlocking money movement: Digitizing various payment types (P2P, B2C, B2B, G2C) to create new commerce opportunities, including cross-border remittances and funds disbursements, open banking and account-to-account solutions, mobile money flows, and interoperability.
- Embedded finance: Creating advanced intelligence to enhance payment and finance experiences in B2C and B2B commerce models, including installments, flexible financing, consumer loyalty, and Fintech-as-a-Service.
- Empowering merchants and SMEs: Accelerating the growth of merchants and SMEs through digital payment solutions to foster financial inclusion, focusing on next-generation omnichannel payments, digital onboarding, working capital optimization, and merchant value-add solutions.
- Payment infrastructure enablers: Building the base layer of payment infrastructure and key enabling services such as authentication and fraud solutions, digital onboarding and identity management, credit scoring and risk management solutions, and data solutions and insights.
- The future of finance: Embracing emerging technologies to revolutionize financial services, such as AI-powered payments, blockchain and enterprise DLT, and programmable money.
- Sustainable and inclusive finance: Enhancing payments technology to contribute to an eco-friendly economy, drive inclusiveness, reduce inequality, and create positive impact through financial services for underserved communities or climate-vulnerable communities and affordable and accessible financial solutions.
Brian Dempsey, Founder and CEO of Power, a Kenya-based financial technology provider, was among the 23 startup founders who participated in the first cohort. He commented: “The Visa Accelerator Program has been really valuable for Power as a business. Each week, I have been able to include multiple team members on topics that are really important for our growing business such as HR, Finance, Governance, Go to Market Strategies and so forth. The quality of the mentors and speakers has been top notch and the Accelerator team always available when needed!”
Otto Williams, Senior Vice President, Head of Product, Partnerships and Digital Solutions for Visa Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEMEA), said: “Following the success of the inaugural accelerator, Visa is inviting a second round of disruptive startups to apply to the program, in an ongoing effort to support Africa’s growing fintech ecosystem. This unique experience will offer entrepreneurs an opportunity for mentorship and fast-tracked growth, while also providing them access to a wider network of partners and investors.” For more information about the Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator and to apply, please visit this page.