Mastercard has announced the addition of a dynamic award-winning startup engagement program Start Path and more technology partners to its fintech portfolio, providing access to expert engineers and specialists that can help customers deploy new services quickly and efficiently.
Dubbed Engage, the network helps emerging brands grow, diversify, and build their businesses, supporting their programs today and serving up what we know they will need in the decades to come.
“The current global shift towards digitization and open banking is transforming the future of commerce and connectivity as we know it. We are particularly excited to partner with regional innovative fintech, such as Hello Tractor, through our Start Path program. These partnerships are crucial as we continue to build the digital economy through ongoing innovations that deliver locally-relevant payment solutions to empower communities and harness Africa’s potential,” said Raghav Prasad, Division President for Sub-Saharan Africa, Mastercard.
Recognizing the important role that fintech plays in the world’s rapid digital transformation, Mastercard is continuously diversifying its business by diversifying its perspective – looking to new partners, new markets, and new ways to build on its core competency as a payments network.
The most recent African fintech to join the Start Path program is Hello Tractor, which operates across Nigeria and Kenya.
Hello, Tractor is revolutionizing mechanization services across emerging markets by bringing together tractor owners and smallholder farmers through the Internet of Things technology and allowing farmers to access affordable tractor services, plant on time, and increase yields. It is one of 11 global startups welcomed into Start Path.
Mastercard Start Path
Globally, Mastercard is welcoming 11 new startups to its Start Path program, offering a powerful network, innovative technology, and deep expertise to help them grow their business and scale sustainably. Since 2014, Mastercard has invited more than 230 later-stage startups worldwide to participate in its six-month virtual program, providing technical guidance, operational support, and commercial engagements within the Mastercard ecosystem.
“Hello Tractor is revolutionizing how farmers access tractors in a region that has been plagued by low rates of mechanization. By partnering with Mastercard through the Start Path program, we have the opportunity to unlock additional value for our farmers by expanding their access to banking and payments infrastructure. This combination of innovations holds unlimited promise for this continent and the global south,” said Jehiel Oliver, Founder Hello Tractor.
Across Sub-Saharan Africa, several African fintech has benefited from the Start Path program including Ukheshe, MAX, N-Frnds, Flutterwave, Kasha, mfarmPay, Netplus, Lidya, and Lipa Later. Providing a simple, single entry point to Mastercard’s wide fintech portfolio and access to everything startups need to grow quickly, this fintech has achieved accelerated growth from the program over the past few years.
Start Path evaluates more than 1,500 applications each year and selects approximately 40 startups that offer the most promising technologies and demonstrate a readiness to scale. Startups in this growing network have gone on to raise US $2.7 billion in post-program capital and collaborate with Mastercard, major banks, merchants, and other high-profile organizations.
Consumer expectations are evolving more rapidly than ever and banks, financial institutions, and digital players are looking for even more agility in bringing new solutions to market; Mastercard’s global reach and local roots afford it the ability to foster a strong, carefully curated network of technology partners that are qualified based on Mastercard standards and industry requirements. Mastercard is expanding its Engage program to support even more solutions and deliver better learning and promotional opportunities for partners.
Engage identifies, serves, and promotes a network of more than 170 strategic partners who comply with Mastercard certification and rules, to build and deploy new solutions on behalf of fintech, banks, and merchants. In the first quarter of 2020 alone, Engage signed almost 50 new deals with partners such as Antelop, Giesecke+Devrient Mobile Security, MeaWallet, Netcetera, Payair, and Thales across Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa.
Strengthening the capabilities of technology partners is even more critical during times of crisis, so fintech can innovate faster and better serve consumers and businesses. Engage has enabled more than 200 million cards to support financial growth and market entry for fintech around the world.
Additional resources are now available for partners through the new Mastercard Engage website.
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