Mastercard says it is requesting applications from Nigerian fintech startups to begin its Start Path 2018 programme under the payment technology company’s initiative to reshape the future of commerce.
Start-ups will have the opportunity to present their business proposals to the Start Path judging panel on April 9 in Lagos and selected startups will present at Mastercard’s Innovation Dialogue event on April 10 to an audience of influential business leaders besides being considered for Start Path.
The programme will be available for startups from Nigeria who are rethinking banking and payments and have raised a significant seed or Series A round of investment, Mastercard announced.
Under the plan, startups will be provided with the operational support, mentorship, and investment they need to develop the next generation of commerce solutions and grow their operations while undergoing the six-month virtual programme by Start Path.
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, the payment tech company says.
Nigerian startups have already shown great promise with the success of Start Path alumni such as NetPlus and Flutterwave, the company says.
During the Mastercard Start Path 2016 programme, NetPlus was the first African startup to be selected to be part of the programme and has recently worked with Mastercard to introduce a secure e-commerce solution that removes the need for consumers to carry cash for online purchases.
Another African startup was Flutterwave, which was also part of the 2016 programme, drives growth for both banks and businesses across Africa through ground-breaking digital payment technology.
NetPlus and Flutterwave prove that there is tremendous talent on the continent, Africa and that startups are contributing tremendously to the growth of Africa, and shaping commerce to the benefit of all Africans, Mastercard says.