Payments company Visa is inviting local fintech start-ups to participate in this year’s Sub-Saharan Africa edition of the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI).
The global innovation competition tasks start-ups to solve payments and commerce challenges,as well as enhance their own product offerings.
For this year’s VEI in South Africa, the company says the in-person competition will take place on 22 June.
The winner will progress to the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) finals. The start-up that wins at the CEMEA regionals will participate in the global finale, which will be held on 19 September, in San Francisco, US.
Prior to the global finals, local and regional prizes will be awarded, including $20 000 for first place and $10 000 for second place.
“The Visa Everywhere Initiative is a platform that empowers fintechs and entrepreneurs to showcase the most ground-breaking, impactful solutions in the world of payments and commerce,” comments Lineshree Moodley, GM of South Africa at Visa.
Visa says since VEI launched in 2015, it has helped start-ups representing more than 100 countries collectively raise more than $16 billion in funding, with a network that includes nearly 12 000 start-ups from across the globe.
Past winners include Nigeria’s ThriveAgric, which took home the VEI global grand prize of $100 000 last year.
“Through their technology-driven, innovative solutions, fintechs have the potential to offer broad social benefits to the markets they operate in – particularly when it comes to providing financial services to those who have traditionally been underserved.
“At Visa, we believe access to the digital economy drives equitable, inclusive growth, and VEI is an important means of supporting the innovators playing a leading role in this space,” adds Moodley.
The application deadline for the South African start-ups is 14 May.
Interested start-ups are invited to apply here.