Mastercard is calling for applications for its next Start Path Global 2017 class, the company’s global initiative to support innovative later-stage startups who are reshaping the future of commerce.
The programme is open to startups from South Africa and across the world who are rethinking banking and payments and have raised a significant seed or Series A round of investment.
During a six-month virtual programme, Start Path provides startups with the operational support, mentorship, and investment they need to develop the next generation of commerce solutions and grow their operations. Selected companies further benefit from the knowledge of a global network of Mastercard experts, access to Mastercard customers and partners including global corporate brands spanning banking, retail, tech and telecoms, and the ability to innovate on top of Mastercard solutions.
“Fintech startups around the world are designing a digital future,” says Amy Neale, vice-president of Mastercard Start Path. “They’re bringing a different approach to enhance customer choice and experience across the industry. Our work with these startups helps connect new technology with reliable, secure financial networks and processes to create an even more rewarding and seamless commerce experience.”
Since 2014, the Start Path team has received interest from 5 000 startups, and has worked with 100 companies across 24 countries. Through the first four classes, 20% of the participants have worked with Mastercard in commercial engagements or pilots.
Mastercard is collaborating with DigiSEq, an IoT payment device enabler, to connect DigiSEq device manufacturer customers with Mastercard tokenization services and enable payments on wearables. Kasisto, the company that created the conversational KAI Banking AI platform, is currently piloting a bot for banks for Mastercard employees that allows consumers to transact, manage finances, receive contextual offers and learn about benefits via messaging platforms. RecargaPay, a mobile payment solution that enables Latin American consumers to top-up their prepaid mobile phones and pay for utility bills, partnered with Mastercard to launch a card-on-file marketing promotion to attract new users.
Applications for the next six-month virtual programme are open until April 23, 2017. Interested startups can visit https://www.startpath.com/ for additional information and to submit an application.
The programme is open to startups who meet the following criteria:
• Solution live in market;
• Established and experienced team;
• Targeting sizeable market opportunity;
• Demonstrable advantage over competitors; and
• Seed or Series A investment recently secured.