Mookh Africa, a Kenyan online selling platform has been named as the overall winner of Visa’s first ever Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) Everywhere Initiative, taking home a total of Ksh5 million. The initiative is a global program aimed at helping startups and designed to encourage the development of the next generation payment technologies.
The winning solution beat 11 other finalists selected from 238 submissions to emerge as the champions.
Mookh Africa developed a social business payments solution which makes it easy for people in Africa to buy and sell on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Once the seller creates an online store on Mookh, they can embed it into their Facebook page. The Kenyan startup won both the “Social Business Payments” challenge as well as the overall prize for its idea. The company took home US$50,000 (Ksh5 million) and the opportunity to work with Visa to develop the concept further.
Nigerian startup, CredPal, won the “Merchant Payments” challenge and US$25,000 (Ksh2.5 million) for its solution that allows business and individuals to pay for purchases in installments across online and offline merchants by providing them with instant access to credit at the point of checkout. The merchant then fulfills the order and is paid in full while the customer pays CredPal back in fixed monthly installments.
Zowasel, another Nigerian startup, developed a solution which connects under-financed smallholder farmers with investors via mobile phone-based Person-to-person (P2P) lending and marketplace sales, as well as gives them access to best agricultural practices. They won in the “Financial Inclusion” challenge.
The SSA edition of Visa’s Everywhere Initiative is also the first time that startups have been given a challenge specific to financial inclusion since it was launched in 2015.
This is the first time Visa has rolled out its Everywhere Initiative in Sub Sahara Africa and shortlisted fintechs from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia took part in the final pitch event. To date, nearly 2,100 fintech startups from across North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia have participated.
Sunny Walia, General Manager for Visa East Africa, said that the region has potential to deliver a secure digital transaction economy, which should be exploited.
“Visa is proud to play its part in Africa by enabling a smart economy powered by secure digital payments. This vision comes to life when we can collaborate with passionate minds and foster an entrepreneurial ecosystem where innovators can thrive. Today, we saw this passion and innovation first-hand; and we are excited to build on the technologies that have secured the top positions in each of these challenges. Together with Visa and our financial institution partners, we would love to see at least some of these become a reality for consumers in the near future.”
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