The Clearing House Real-Time Payments Tracker May 2024 Banner

Mastercard Selects 5 Startups for Blockchain and Digital Assets Program


Mastercard has selected five startups from around the world to participate in its Start Path Blockchain and Digital Assets program.

This program is designed to connect Mastercard with industry experts and FinTechs so that they can work together to explore differentiated use cases in which blockchain and digital assets can help solve real-world problems, the company said in a Wednesday (May 15) press release.

“Mastercard’s experience in payments innovation and building a global, card-based payments network uniquely positions the company to bridge these ecosystems with startups, power new solutions and create efficiencies in digital commerce experiences,” Mastercard said in the release.

The blockchain, digital assets and Web3 startups that participate in the virtual four-month program can benefit from collaboration, bespoke training, and access to Mastercard’s customers and channels, according to the release.

Since the Start Path Blockchain and Digital Assets program was founded in 2014, Mastercard has supported more than 400 startups from 54 countries, the release said.

The five new program participants announced Wednesday include Kulipa, a French startup that enables next-gen crypto payment card issuing for digital wallets; Parfin, a British startup that builds enterprise-grade software products that allow financial institutions to adopt blockchain rails; peaq, a Singaporean startup that provides permissionless, borderless digital infrastructure for real-world apps; Triangle, an American startup that provides a data platform that triangulates climate data with finance; and Venly, a Belgian startup that facilitates blockchain integration for developers and businesses, per the release.

Parfin CEO and co-founder Marcos Viriato said Wednesday that the company looks forward to collaborating with Mastercard and the other startups to explore new use cases for technology.

“We started Parfin to build the infrastructure and software products to help institutions easily transfer their business to blockchain rails,” Viriato said in a press release emailed to PYMNTS. “Thanks to decades of traditional finance (TradFi) experience and deep expertise in digital assets and decentralized finance (DeFi), Parfin combines the best of both worlds for a unified finance (UniFi) approach that seamlessly bridges banking and blockchain.”

In another move in this space, Mastercard said in October 2023 that it partnered with MoonPay to explore how Web3 technologies can enhance consumer connections and redefine customer loyalty and engagement.