Merchant Innovation

Techstars, Barclays Launch In Cape Town

Techstars and Barclays are launching yet another accelerator program, this time in Cape Town, South Africa. And the application window for interested parties is now open.

The partnership was announced the launch this week and will work with Africa’s FinTech entrepreneurs to take aim at discovering and creating the next M-Pesa or Paypal.

Barclays and Techstars have been working together on opening up new accelerator programs across the world, including one recently in Tel Aviv. The Israeli city is considered to be one of, if not, the hottest places driving FinTech initiatives and innovation.

The new Cape Town initiative will be a collaboration between Barclays Africa and Techstars, where 10 qualifying FinTech startups will have the opportunity to participate in a 13-week program starting in May 2017. Representatives at Techstars, which to date has invested in more than 900 startups, said the accelerator pushes for a year’s worth of work and traction in just three months.

The startups will be based in the Rise FinTech innovation hub, which is located in the Woodstock area of Cape Town. Those selected will be granted the opportunity to work with the specialized curriculum, have access to mentors provided by Techstars, and enter or expand their footprint in Africa through Barclays’ Africa Group team focused on the customer, product and technology. They will also have access to scaling globally through the Rise locations in Europe, U.S., India and Lithuania.

“Africa has tremendous untapped potential to not only pioneer its own creative solutions for its unique contexts but to also create solutions that the rest of the world can adopt for their own contexts,” Yasaman Hadjibashi at Barclays said in a release.

Disrupt Africa’s African Startup Funding Report last year released that nearly 30 percent of investment in African tech startups focuses on FinTech opportunities. Experts say this suggests tremendous opportunity for this sector and country.

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Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. The May 2019 AML/KYC Tracker, provides an in-depth examination of current efforts to stop money laundering, fight fraud and improve customer identity authentication in the financial services space.

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