The winner of Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) 2023 Kenya edition to be announced on July 6th 2023
This year, Visa has partnered with Loop, a smart Kenyan money management platform, to host the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) 2023 Kenya edition. The winner of the Kenya edition will progress to the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) finals. Then the winner of the CEMEA regional final will proceed to the global finale, to be held on September 19 at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco.
The VEI 2023 Kenya edition was looking for innovative and ambitious entrepreneurs who are uplifting communities by solving payment and commerce challenges faced by businesses of all sizes and sectors, including ecosystems such as agriculture, logistics, healthcare, education, urban mobility, gig economy, and insurance. The solutions also have to address MSME needs such as access to finance, access to new customers or markets, and MSME business services.
The competition attracted 200 applications from Kenyan fintechs, out of which five finalists were shortlisted to pitch their solutions to a panel of judges. The finalists are:
Ndovu: The embedded wealth management platform for Africa that enables users to invest in diversified portfolios of local and global assets.
Africa Blockchain Center: A leading company focused on capacity building, product development, incubation, and research and development in the blockchain technology sector.
Leja: The ultimate finance management app for MSMEs that offers digital payments, accounting, invoicing, credit scoring, and access to loans.
ai-fluence: Africa’s first AI-driven influencer marketing platform that connects brands with relevant influencers across Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Paylend: A platform that digitizes micro and small businesses across Africa by providing them with a digital identity, a business account, a POS system, and access to credit.
The judges will evaluate the pitches based on four criteria: impact, innovation, scalability, and alignment with Visa’s vision. The winners of the three categories will be announced on July 6th 2023 via YouTube livestream. Please mark this on your calendar or bookmark to tune in on Thursday at 8.15 am
The VEI Kenya edition will see a total of $40,000 USD in prize money distributed among the different categories. This includes $20,000 USD for the overall winner, $10,000 USD for the audience favorite and a newly introduced $10,000 USD Impact prize, which goes to the organisation whose solution has a positive social impact on the communities it operates in. Examples of social impact include initiatives that boost financial inclusion, promote sustainability, or safeguard the environment.
“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,” said Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, Visa Country Manager for Kenya. “Through their technology-driven, innovative solutions, fintechs have the potential to offer broad social benefits – 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. We intend to work closely with the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Digital Economy as well as the Central Bank of Kenya during this VEI edition to support the innovation ecosystem in Kenya”.
VEI has been great for African creativity and innovation, putting some of the previously unknown startups to the world map. Kenya which is well known as Silicon Sahara has not been left behind using the opportunity to cement its position as the most innovative center in this part of the world. Since its launch in 2015 VEI has helped over 12,000 startups from across 100 countries, to collectively raise more than $16 Billion USD in funding. Last year, VEI awarded more than $530,000 USD in prize money over the course of the competition, which saw over 4,000 startups participate from five regions. Nigeria’s ThriveAgric took home the Global grand prize of $100,000 USD and an additional $20,000 USD prize from the Visa Direct solution team.