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African innovators head for Singapore

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Innotribe Startup Challenge attendees have selected the five finalists from the African leg of the Startup Challenge to compete at Sibos Singapore in October.The showcase was held at The Westin Hotel yesterday (6 May), in partnership with SWIFT’s African Regional Conference (ARC).

The three early-stage startup finalists are:
* Intelworld delivers mobile applications on top of existing mobile wallets to help banks and merchants increase mobile e-commerce;
* Notify provides secure messaging infrastructure to help companies communicate with their customers via mobile instant messages instead of costly SMS; and
* Yue Diligence offers actionable, light-touch due diligence tool for entrepreneurs, investors, and service providers to assess deal readiness.

The two growth-stage startups finalists are:
* 2Quins enterprise SaaS financial information tool, Green Model, slashes the time and expense of meeting banks’ operational and regulatory reporting requirements; and
* ZAQ Finance provides debt reduction, savings, and low-cost credit products to help low-income Africans become more financially secure.

Fabian Vandenreydt, head of markets management at Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute at SWIFT, says: “London, Singapore, and New York are part of the top ten cities in FinTech for years now. We were delighted to bring the Innotribe Startup Challenge for the first time to Cape Town this year, drawing attention to the innovation happening on the ground in Africa. It was an exciting step, and we now wish the finalists the best of luck for the Finale at Sibos later this year.”

Commenting on Africa’s innovation landscape, Hugo Smit, head of sub-Sahara Africa at SWIFT, says: “There is a genuine spirit of innovation in Africa and the semi-finalists who pitched in Cape Town really shows the appetite there is in this market for new business models and harnessing technology in new ways. I’m delighted that SWIFT and Innotribe are able to offer these young African companies this platform and wish them best of luck in Singapore at Sibos.
We are already excited about the next African Showcase at ARC 2016.”

The next steps of the Startup Challenge programme will be the regional showcases in Singapore on 28 May, and New York on 18 June.