Visa Launches Africa Fintech Accelerator Program

Visa, the global payments technology leader, is now accepting applications from African startups to join the first cohort of their exciting program. This 12-week accelerator is specially designed for startups operating in Africa and will be conducted twice a year, hosting up to 20 startups in each cohort.

If you are a startup at the Series A stage or below, Visa invites you to apply through their website. This is an incredible opportunity to access unparalleled expertise, valuable industry connections, cutting-edge technology, and the possibility of investment funding. Applications will be accepted until August 25th, and the announcement of the first cohort is scheduled for September.

Aligned with Visa’s commitment to investing $1 billion in Africa by 2027, the accelerator aims to strengthen the payment ecosystem across the continent through innovative ideas and technologies. The primary focus is on digitizing economies, upskilling talent, and building capacity.

To make this vision a reality, Visa has partnered with Plug and Play, the world’s leading innovation platform. Throughout the 12-week program, Plug and Play will deliver valuable content, connect startups with mentors, arrange one-on-one coaching sessions, and facilitate connections with a vast global and regional network of investors.

The Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator is seeking disruptive startups that are generating revenue within the African continent. If your startup falls into any of the following five categories, they encourage you to apply:

  • Unlocking money movement: Digitizing various payment types [P2P, B2C, B2B, G2C] to create new commerce opportunities, including cross-border remittances and funds disbursements, open banking and account-to-account solutions, mobile money flows and interoperability.
  • Embedded finance: Creating advanced intelligence to enhance payment and finance experiences in B2C and B2B commerce models, including installments, flexible financing, consumer loyalty, and Fintech-as-a-Service.
  • Empowering merchants and SMEs: Accelerating the growth of merchants and SMEs through digital payment solutions to foster financial inclusion, focusing on next-generation omnichannel payments, digital onboarding, working capital optimization, and merchant value-add solutions.
  • Payment infrastructure enablers:   Building the base layer of payment infrastructure and key enabling services such as authentication and fraud solutions, digital onboarding and identity management, credit scoring and risk management solutions, and data solutions and insights
  • The future of finance: Embracing emerging technologies to revolutionize financial services, such as AI-powered payments, blockchain and enterprise DLT, and programmable money.
  • Sustainable and inclusive finance: Enhancing payments technology to contribute to an eco-friendly economy, drive inclusiveness, reduce inequality, and create positive impact through financial services for underserved communities or climate-vulnerable communities and affordable and accessible financial solutions

Commenting on the announcement, Otto Williams, Senior Vice President, Head of Product, Partnerships and Digital Solutions for Visa CEMEA said, “Through the Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator, Visa is committed to driving financial innovation, fostering entrepreneurship, and supporting the growth of Fintech ecosystems across Africa. This accelerator represents a unique opportunity for Fintech startups to access invaluable resources, mentorship, and potential investment opportunities.”

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