Vuleka, has been named as the winner of the South Africa edition of the 2023 Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI), a global innovation program and competition for start-ups and fintech companies.

Vuleka will receive a $50 000 monetary prize and progresses to the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CEMEA) Regional finals. The winning start-up at the CEMEA Regionals will participate in the global finale, which will be held on 19 September in San Francisco.

Second place in the VEI went to Lance Fanaroff of iiDENTIFii, while Camille O’Sullivan of Tweak took the third place.

This years’ competition also saw the introduction of the $10 000 Social Impact prize, which was awarded to Thomas Brennan, CEO and co-founder from Franc, a South African based mobile saving and investment app was recognized as having a positive social impact on the community it operates in.

“We are delighted to announce the winners of the Visa Everywhere Initiative competition. This competition has demonstrated the wealth of solutions that exist to solve our country’s current and future challenges We are proud to recognise these start-ups who have exhibited remarkable innovation and a deep commitment to making a positive impact in their sectors,” says Lineshree Moodley, GM of Visa South Africa.

More than 200 applicants entered the competition from across the region, each with solutions aimed at delivering innovative payment and commerce solutions to consumers and businesses.

Brian Makwaiba, co-founder and CEO of Vuleka, says: “Winning the South Africa edition of Visa Everywhere Initiative competition is an incredible honour, and I am immensely grateful for this invaluable opportunity. This recognition not only validates our hard work and dedication but also reinforces our belief in the transformative power of our start-up. With Visa’s support, we are optimistic about the growth potential ahead of us, as we strive to create a positive impact and shape the future of commerce.”