6 Nigerian Fintech Firms Compete For Visa’s 2nd Accelerator Programme Funding

6 Nigerian Fintech Firms Compete For Visa’s 2nd Accelerator Programme Funding

Six Nigerian Fintech companies have been shortlisted to participate in the Visa’s second cohort Africa Fintech Accelerator programme, thus, qualifying for funding.

The Nigerian Fintech companies are: Aku.africa; Cleva; Curacel; Raenest; E-doc Online and Bridgecard.
Other Sub-Saharan Africa startups shortlisted for the second cohort of the Visa Fintech Accelerator programme for Africa are: Chapa from Ethiopia; CheckUps Medical Hub, from Kenya; AzamPay from Tanzania; Beem from Tanzania; Bizao from Ivory Coast; Hub2, from Ivory Coast; Iwomi Technologies, from Cameroon; Proboutik, from Cameroon; Vaultpay, from Democratic Republic of Congo and Truzo, from South Africa.

As part of Visa’s work to unlock financial innovation across the continent, the biennial programme offers 12 weeks of 1:1 mentorship and personalised training, providing seed to series A startups with exclusive opportunities to access funding, development, and resources.

Cohort 2 startups operate across 28 African countries, a 55 per cent increase from Cohort 1 where the representatives operated across 18 countries. 65 per cent of them feature female leadership, rising from 43 per cent in the inaugural edition.

The selected startups offer a range of solutions, such as neo-banking, merchant payments, credit scoring, risk and identity management, embedded finance, social commerce, escrow services, and more. They aim to address the challenges and opportunities in the African fintech landscape, such as financial inclusion, access to credit, cross-border payments, and digital transformation.

Vice president, and head of Sub-Saharan Africa at Visa, Aida Diarra, in a statement, made available to LEADERSHIP remarked: “At Visa, we believe in uplifting innovation while driving access and inclusion across the financial ecosystem.

“Today, we are proud to say that our second cohort of Accelerator participants represents more than 50 per cent of countries across Africa, up from a third during our first cohort. Not only that–but women are in leadership roles across the majority of these cutting-edge startups. We have a robust, diverse selection of innovators seeking to shape the future of commerce and finance – and Visa is happy to help them take the next step to where they need to be.”

The Accelerator programme, launched in June 2023, is reflective of Visa’s ongoing efforts to help uplift the digital economy in Africa, including a pledge to invest $1 billion in the continent by 2027 to help revolutionise the payments ecosystem.

The 12-week virtual Accelerator programme will conclude with an in-person Demo Day, where startups will have the opportunity to pitch their innovations to key ecosystem players, funding partners, angel investors, and venture capitalists, enabling them to take small steps towards unlocking their full potential.

The programme builds on the success of the first cohort, who graduated in February 2024 with an investor week in Nairobi that saw the participation of more than 250 attendees including banking and fintech partners, investors, and venture capital firms. The first cohort startups have since reported positive outcomes from the program, such as increased user growth, product enhancements, funding opportunities, and strategic partnerships with Visa and other industry players.

Co-founder and Co-CEO of Traction, a Nigerian startup, and developers of the Traction App, Dolapo Adejuyigbe, said: “The Visa Accelerator Program has been very engaging infused with practical learnings across all parameters required to build and scale our business. We have also been able to involve some of our team members in these programs, which we believe will expedite our path to execution.

“Grateful to also be part of a community of founders who are looking for similar outcomes for their startups, acting as peer mentors through the process. Lastly, we are very excited about the initiatives we are partnering with Visa on, some of which we have started executing on even during the accelerator programme.”

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