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Visa Invites Applications for FinTech Accelerator Program in Africa

Visa

Visa launched the second cohort for its Africa FinTech Accelerator program.

The program aims to provide mentorship, training and networking opportunities to startups in Africa, the digital payments firm said in a Monday (Jan. 29) press release. It is accepting applications until Feb. 29.

Open to seed to Series A startups operating in Africa, the Visa Africa FinTech Accelerator program’s second cohort focuses on those working on unlocking money movement; embedded finance; empowering merchants and small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs); payment infrastructure; the future of finance; and sustainable and inclusive finance, according to the release.

“This unique experience will offer entrepreneurs an opportunity for mentorship and fast-tracked growth, while also providing them access to a wider network of invaluable partners and investors,” Leila Serhan, senior vice president and group country manager for North Africa, Levant and Pakistan (NALP) at Visa, said in the release.

The second round of the program builds on the success of the inaugural accelerator program, the release said. The first round was launched in June.

This initiative also aligns with Visa’s commitment to invest $1 billion in Africa by 2027, the release said. The company made that pledge in December 2022, saying it would use the money to accelerate digital transformation in Africa by scaling operations, deploying new technologies and deepening collaboration with its partners.

The first cohort of the program showcased 23 startup founders from more than 18 African countries, with 48% of the startups having women founders or women in leadership positions, per the release.

These startups operate in various subsectors, including merchant payment solutions, lending infrastructure, Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) and B2B marketplaces, according to the release.

Ayoub Rqibi, chief operating officer and co-founder of Paytic Connect, a platform assisting banks, credit unions and FinTech companies, participated in the first cohort and highlighted the program’s role in helping the firm clarify its goals and structure its approach.

“The program’s comprehensive guidance and mentorship have been invaluable in helping us focus our efforts, refine our business model and accelerate our progress,” Rqibi said in the release.

The first cohort will have the opportunity to pitch their innovations to investors Feb. 13 during a Demo Day organized by Visa in Nairobi, according to the release.