Visa today announced the 5 finalists who will be pitching at the Central Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CEMEA) Visa Everywhere Initiative, a global innovation program and competition for start-ups and fintech companies.
More than 1,300 applicants entered the competition from across the region, each with solutions aimed at delivering innovative payment and commerce solutions to consumers and businesses.
The finalists will compete for a chance to win monetary prizes, including an Audience Favourite and a dedicated Visa Direct award. The winner will also receive a spot in the Global Finale in Qatar in November 2022.
"Fintech and other payments innovators are transforming the way consumers and businesses make payments, making it easier for more people to access the money they need when they need it - and the pandemic has seen this become more critical than ever,” said Otto Williams, Senior Vice President, Head of Product, Partnerships & Solutions CEMEA at Visa. “In CEMEA, specifically, we have witnessed a substantial growth in the fintech sector. This year again, applicants across Central Europe, Middle East and Africa superseded entrant numbers compared to other Visa regions with the total number of applications having nearly doubled compared to last year. This is a clear demonstration of our region’s significance in the fintech sector, and the growth potential of the digital economy," added Otto Williams.
In all, five companies have been chosen as finalists to compete in the CEMEA Visa Everywhere Regional Finales:
1. CarePay from Nigeria, is an aggregator of health services, driving accessibility and affordability of healthcare services through insurance and discount plans.
2. Qlub from the United Arab Emirates, provides a payment solution for restaurants where customers can view, split and pay their bill simply through scanning a QR code. Other functionalities include ordering and data analytics, simplifying and digitizing the E2E restaurant experience.
3. Thrive Agric from Nigeria is an agriculture technology company that enables strategic partnerships with financial institutions and agriculture value chain players to provide smallholders with financial services, agriculture inputs, extension, market linkage, e-commerce, and payment services.
4. Negabty from Egypt is a mobile platform that automates the services of syndicates and eases the connection with its members. Users can access medical health solutions across the platform and other key financial services, all provided with different payment solutions.
5. NQOODLET from Saudi Arabia is a unified digital platform to help SMEs manage their expenses and purchases easily.