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Visa seeks Sub-Saharan Africa’s ‘brilliant’ fintech firms

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Global financial services company Visa has called on fintech start-ups in Sub-Saharan Africa to participate in the regional leg of its Everywhere Initiative.

This, as it has announced the 2021 edition of the global innovation programme and competition for fintech firms.

The Visa Everywhere Initiative tasks start-ups with solving future payment and commerce challenges, as well as enhancing their own product offerings by providing visionary solutions for Visa's network of partners.

Since kicking-off in 2015 in the US, the Everywhere Initiative has expanded into a global programme with more than 7 000 participating start-ups, collectively raising over $2.5 billion in funding.

In a statement, Visa says fintech firms started by everyone, everywhere will pitch their ideas in regional competitions to a panel of expert judges from across the payments industry.

All applicants from Sub-Saharan Africa are invited to compete first on a Central Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) stage, with two prizes up for grabs: $15 000 for the overall winner and the audience favourite prize of $10 000.

According to Visa, the winner of the CEMEA regional pitch will go on to participate in the global competition for a combined $100 000 in total prize money, adding that it does not ask for any equity from Visa Everywhere Initiative competitors as part of this competition.

“Supporting companies across the globe who are building solutions that power seamless money movement everywhere is a top priority for Visa,” states Aida Diarra, senior VP and group country manager for Visa Sub-Saharan Africa. “We recognise fintechs as a force for innovation that is core to our business and encourage everyone to apply to the Visa Everywhere Initiative.

“I am looking forward to seeing the many brilliant ideas from South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and across Sub-Saharan Africa this year.”

Visa indicates that participants are invited to submit applications in English to the CEMEA regional pitch before 7 May, with the regional CEMEA finals scheduled for 8 June. The global finals will take place on 14 September.

Visa and TechCrunch will promote and host live-streamed and virtual events in North America, CEMEA and Latin America.

To take part in the Visa Everywhere Initiative, participants are invited to register and submit applications by clicking here.

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