Visa launches its fintech accelerator program for startups in Africa
Visa has launched a new fintech accelerator program for Africa to support the continent’s growing start-up community. The payments leader will provide startups with expertise, connections, technology, and potential investment funding.
The Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator will enable up to 40 start-ups each year to accelerate and grow through a three-month intensive learning program focused on business growth and mentoring.
Following the program completion, Visa intends to further support fintech growth with capital investment in select participating businesses, while accelerating their commercial launch through access to Visa technology and capabilities.
The launch of the Africa Fintech Accelerator program follows Visa’s recent pledge to invest $1 billion in Africa’s digital transformation and its long-term commitment to advancing Africa’s economies and driving inclusive growth.
Fintech startups across Africa can apply for the program, which will have two application phases each year, starting from July 2023.
In 2022, over 1,000 African fintech startups participated in the VEI (Visa Everywhere Initiative) competition. From that competition, the finalists from different African countries will be invited to the accelerator program.
“Africa has one of the most exciting and admired fintech ecosystems in the world, bringing outstanding entrepreneurial talent to a young digital-first population that is growing fast”, Kelly noted
He added: “Visa has been increasing our investments in Africa for decades and strengthening partnerships throughout the continent to support the next wave of innovation and growth. Our new Fintech Accelerator will bring expertise, connections, and investment to Africa’s best fintech startups so they can grow at scale”.
The program builds upon Visa’s existing Visa Everywhere Initiative and aims to strengthen the payment ecosystem, drive innovation, and promote financial inclusion in Africa.
Visa has been increasing its investments in Africa and has recently introduced various initiatives and programs, including establishing local operations in additional African countries, launching an innovation studio in Nairobi, introducing new payment technologies, and supporting women’s empowerment and financial literacy programs.