Four Egyptian fin-tech startups reached the final round of Visa’s Everywhere Initiative, and now have the opportunity to secure US$50,000 in funding, according to a press statement released earlier this week.
Visa’s Everywhere Initiative is an innovation program designed to encourage the development of the Next Big Thing in Payments industry. The Initiative has three real life business challenges: enabling electronic payment acceptance among smaller merchants and providing secure e-commerce solutions, transforming the transit experience at airports and building customer loyalty through the right offers at the right time.
Out of total 190 competitors, 13 startups including Rakna, Swvl, VRteek and Widebot will compete against innovators from the UAE, Lebanon, Jordan and Pakistan.
“One winner per brief will be selected, with each receiving funding of $25,000. Winners will be invited to a working meeting with Visa, and may be presented with the opportunity to create a prototype. Visa will then select one overall winner to receive an additional $25,000,” the statement read.
Karl Tlais, Visa’s Senior Director — Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, said that the four Egyptian startups are all competing in the “Airport Transit Challenge” category.
Rakna is an on-demand valet parking mobile application operating out of Cairo. Swvl is a private premium commuter shuttle service with smart routes across cities. VRteek’s services include custom-made VR experiences, interactive installations and presentations, immersive content and 360° video production. WideBot is a bot-building platform that allows anyone to build his own intelligent chatbot, without any coding or technical experience.
Taking place for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Visa’s Everywhere Initiative is a global program designed to support Visa’s goal of fostering the growth of next generation payment technologies.
Nearly 1,500 fin-tech startups from across North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia have participated.