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Three African fintech startups will be winging their way to Geneva in September after they were named the winners of the 2016 Innotribe Startup Challenge for Africa. The event, which took place this week in Mauritius this week, forms part of SWIFT’s African Regional Conference (ARC).
Winners of this year’s challenge received a US$10 000 cash prize and invitations to attend Sibos, SWIFT’s annual global financial services conference, taking place from 26-29 September in Geneva. The startups will have the opportunity to share the stage with FinTech experts, providing great insights on innovation happening across Africa to the financial industry at large.
The three startups tackle problems in different arenas: Hello Paisa is a low cost international money transfer solution for remittances, The Sun Exchange is a peer-to-peer lending platform for investors to fund solar energy projects across the globe, and WeCashUp has created a cross border mobile money platform, enabling users to make secure payments via their mobile phones all across Africa.
The competition, now in its second year, is a relatively new addition to ARC, which has been around for 23 years. ARC brings together policy makers, industry leaders and the broader financial community from across the African continent. This year’s conference theme ‘Facing Global Challenges’ focused on Africa’s positive trends: a growing and young workforce, plentiful natural resources and seven of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies. Typically attracting up to 500 delegates from around 40 countries, the conference was the perfect place for our startups to deliver compelling pitches around their innovative products and demonstrate how they could support the economic development of the continent.
“Our partnership with the SWIFT African Regional Conference over the last two years has highlighted how much SWIFT’s member institutions are keen to understand the FinTech innovation that is happening in their own communities and the importance for local startups to benefit from in-depth industry feedback and gain exposure at a global stage”, says Fabian Vandenreydt, Global Head of Securities Markets, Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute at SWIFT. “It was a real pleasure for us to provide expert mentoring and in-depth industry feedback to all participating startups and we wish them a lot of success in their future developments”.
The Mauritius showcase was the first regional showcase to be held in 2016. The next regional Startup Challenge will be held in Mexico City on 29 June during SWIFT’s Latin American Regional Conference.