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Eleven startups selected for PayPal-backed Finance Forward accelerator

Source: Village Capital

Village Capital today announced the 11 early-stage fintech startups selected to take part in Finance Forward Europe, an investment-readiness program that is a part of Finance Forward, a multi-year global coalition led by founding partners MetLife Foundation and PayPal to support entrepreneurs on four continents who are building tech-enabled solutions to place-based challenges around financial health.

“Nearly 40 million Europeans are locked out of basic financial services,” said Marta Zaccagnini, Europe Program Manager, Village Capital. “Early-stage entrepreneurs are uniquely positioned to help address many of the systemic challenges facing those at the margins. I am incredibly excited to work with the 11 startups selected for this program that are developing products to improve the financial health of low- and moderate-income populations across the European continent.”

The program received over 80 applications from entrepreneurs operating across the region, with selected companies coming from Ireland, UK, Germany, Croatia, Denmark and Spain. Out of 11 companies selected to participate, five are female founded or led. The startups selected for the program are working across multiple sub sectors such as proptech, wealthtech, banktech, lending and others.

Participating startups will receive intensive feedback from both mentors and peers at virtual workshops this summer. Startups will make connections with investors, potential customers, and industry experts. In addition to external mentorship from a wide network of sector leaders, entrepreneurs will receive targeted, skills-based support from experts at MetLife and PayPal on topics like product development, strategic partnerships, and more.

Here are the 11 startups in the cohort that are improving financial health in Europe:
- CreditStretcher (Copenhagen, Denmark) is building a solution that enables SMEs to grow by providing fair access to credit through upfront financing on invoices and extending 60 days of interest-free credit to the buyer.

- Elifinity (London, England) is solving the problem of financial vulnerability in the UK and abroad through an AI-driven platform that connects with an individual’s data in a secure way to predict current and future financial challenges.

- Finclude (Dublin, Ireland) provides a pan-European creditworthiness and affordability score, enabling financial institutions and individuals to universally assess the financial standing of a user by utilizing transactional behavior analysis and machine learning, on top of open banking APIs.

- FinMarie (Berlin, Germany) empowers women to achieve financial independence by offering one-stop financial advice and a cost-effective investment solution. The solution provides an online investment platform that uses robo advisor tools and offers education about money and investing through one on one advice sessions and corporate workshops.

- Libeen #SmartHousing (Madrid, Spain) enables individuals, regardless of income level or savings, to access affordable homeownership through a simple, smart and flexible rent-to-buy lease format.

- PiP iT (London, England) enables migrants living in Europe to send cross-border payments in cash to pay family members’ bills more affordably, while controlling how the money is being spent.

- Portabl (London, England) is building a smart financial services platform providing flexible insurance, benefits, and financial packages that address the systemic bias issues facing freelance and gig-economy workers globally.

- Student Finance (Madrid, Spain) is an educational technology company focused on helping partner schools financing students’ education through Income Share Agreements (“ISA”) to help increase educational opportunity and empower people to access high-impact careers.

- TellJO (Brighton, England) TellJO's customer wellbeing assessment empowers social landlords, utilities and financial institutions to better understand and serve vulnerable customers.

- Vested (London, England) is an impact investing platform that employs a proprietary algorithm to assess and track the impact of an investment to enable people to invest their money in companies and assets that have the biggest positive impact on society.

- Worig (Zagreb, Croatia) is building a solution for tenants to simplify access to the housing market by removing the high costs and risks associated with renting a new home.

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