Visa Shortlists Participants For The Africa Fintech Accelerator Program 2.0

Visa Shortlist Participants For The Africa Fintech Accelerator Program
Visa Shortlist Participants For The Africa Fintech Accelerator Program

Africa Fintech Accelerator program to kickstart with members shortlisted by Visa from across Africa.

As part of its goal to spur financial innovation throughout the continent, Visa, a global leader in digital payments, is providing 12 weeks of one-on-one mentoring and customised training. Through this biannual program, Visa seeks to provide seed to series A startups with exclusive opportunities to access funding, development, and resources. Compared to Cohort 1, where the representatives operate across 18 countries, Cohort 2 startups operate across 28 African countries, a 55% increase. Female leadership is present in 65% of them, up from 43% in the first edition.

Furthering, the chosen businesses provide a variety of services, including embedded finance, social commerce, escrow services, risk and identity management, credit scoring, merchant payments, and neo-banking. Their objective is to tackle the obstacles and prospects present in the African fintech domain, encompassing financial inclusion, credit accessibility, cross-border transactions, and digital transformation.

According to Aida Diarra, Vice President, and Head of Sub-Saharan Africa at Visa, she said “At Visa, we believe in uplifting innovation while driving access and inclusion across the financial ecosystem. Today, we are proud to say that our second cohort of Accelerator participants represents more than 50% of countries across Africa, up from a third during our first cohort. Not only that–but women are in leadership roles across the majority of these cutting-edge startups. We have a robust, diverse selection of innovators seeking to shape the future of commerce and finance – and Visa is happy to help them take the next step to where they need to be.”

In June 2023, Visa launched an Accelerator program, which is reflective of Visa’s ongoing efforts to help uplift the digital economy in Africa, including a pledge to invest $1 billion in the continent by 2027 to help revolutionize the payments ecosystem.

To help startups take baby steps toward realising their full potential, the 12-week virtual Accelerator programme will culminate in an in-person Demo Day. Here, they will have the chance to pitch their innovations to important players in the ecosystem, funding partners, angel investors, and venture capitalists.

More than 250 attendees, including banking and fintech partners, investors, and venture capital firms, attended the investor week in Nairobi in February 2024, marking the graduation of the first cohort of participants in the programme. Since then, the first cohort of startups has reported positive outcomes from the programme, including increased user growth, product enhancements, funding opportunities, and strategic partnerships with Visa and other industry players.

Dolapo Adejuyigbe, Co-founder and Co-CEO of Traction, a Nigerian startup, and developer of the Traction App, a one-stop platform for small businesses to accept payments, run their businesses, and access capital for growth, who participated in the first cohort, commented: “The Visa Accelerator Program has been very engaging infused with practical learnings across all parameters required to build and scale our business. We have also been able to involve some of our team members in these programs, which we believe will expedite our execution path. Grateful to also be part of a community of founders who are looking for similar outcomes for their startups, acting as peer mentors through the process. Lastly, we are very excited about the initiatives we are partnering with Visa on, some of which we have started executing even during the accelerator program.”

The Sub-Saharan Africa startups shortlisted for the second cohort of the Visa Fintech Accelerator program for Africa are:
* Chapa – Ethiopia – Merchant Solutions
* CheckUps Medical Hub – Kenya – Embedded Finance (Health)
* AzamPay – Tanzania – B2B Marketplace
* Beem – Tanzania – Social Commerce
* Bizao – Ivory Coast – Merchant Payments Solution
* Hub2 – Ivory Coast – Enabler Infrastructure
* Iwomi Technologies – Cameroon – Money Movement
* Proboutik – Cameroon – Merchant Payments Solution
* Vaultpay – Democratic Republic of Congo – Merchant Payments Solution
* Aku – Nigeria – Neo-banking
* Cleva – Nigeria – Money Movement
* Curacel – Nigeria – Insurance Management
* E-doc Online – Nigeria – Open Banking
* Raenest – Nigeria – Money Movement
* Bridgecard – Nigeria – Enabler Infrastructure
* Truzo – South Africa – Escrow Services