Up to 40 African fintech start-ups will each year receive financial and training support to accelerate and grow their businesses through a three-month intensive learning programme.
This, as global tech payments firm Visa yesterday announced the launch of its Africa Fintech Accelerator programme.
The initiative was introduced by Visa executive chairman Alfred F Kelly Jr at Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Africa in Marrakech, Morocco.
In a statement, Visa says the programme aims to help enable Africa’s expanding start-up community through expertise, connections, technology and investment funding.
Fintech start-ups throughout Africa can apply to participate through two application phases each year, starting from July, it notes.
With more than 1 000 African fintech start-ups taking part in the Visa Everywhere Initiative competition last year, Visa notes finalists from this year’s Sub-Saharan Africa edition will be invited to join the accelerator programme.
Following the programme’s completion, Visa states it intends to further provide capital investment in select participating businesses.
“Africa has one of the most exciting and admired fintech ecosystems in the world, bringing outstanding entrepreneurial talent to a young digital-first population that is growing fast,” says Kelly Jr.
“Visa has been increasing our investments in Africa for decades and strengthening partnerships throughout the continent to support the next wave of innovation and growth. Our new fintech accelerator will bring expertise, connections and investment to Africa’s best fintech start-ups so they can grow at scale.”
The launch of the Africa Fintech Accelerator programme follows Visa’s pledge to invest $1 billion in Africa’s digital transformation.
The payments company believes support for participating fintech firms will help further strengthen the payment ecosystem by fast-tracking new innovations and technologies that provide solutions to challenges that are unique to the African continent, and which can further advance Africa’s digitisation.
“Africa’s fintech community is at the forefront of payments innovation and connecting more of the unbanked with access to the digital economy,” adds Otto Williams, Visa head of partnerships, products and solutions for Central Europe, Middle East and Africa.
“Visa has been working with this innovative community to create new programmes and solutions to help fintechs scale, while giving access to Visa’s technology and partner ecosystem.
“Through the new Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator, we are looking forward to working with more brilliant entrepreneurs and companies to shape the future of money.”