Lidya, Nigeria’s business loan platform, among 10 firms selected for Mastercard’s Start Path program

Mastercard recently welcomed 10 startups to its Start Path program at the Mastercard Connecting Tomorrow Forum in Barcelona as part of its efforts to drive the startup ecosystem.

Mastercard Start Path is the company’s global initiative to provide startups with the operational support and commercial access needed to scale. The program brings together a global network of innovators ranging from startups to banks and merchants to shape the future of commerce in an agile and accelerated manner. Start Path evaluates roughly 1,600 applications per year and invites about 40 later-stage startups to participate each year.

Representing numerous countries including Jordan, Nigeria, Mexico, Australia, Singapore, the UK and the US, the participating startups are developing innovative financial services technologies that exemplify a new level of innovation and convenience in customer experience. During the Mastercard Connecting Tomorrow Forum, the selected startups were given the opportunity to pitch their ideas to an audience of more than 250 potential investors and partners.

“Startups are reimagining all touch points of the consumer lifecycle and we must harness their unique approach to addressing emerging challenges to our advantage. Through the Mastercard Start Path program we are able to combine our assets and expertise with the startup community’s out-of-the-box ideas and unconventional business models to shape the future of commerce together,” said Gaurang Shah, senior VP, Product Management, Digital Payments & Labs, MEA, Mastercard.

The ideas presented by startups ranged from new approaches to enabling small merchants to accept payments and manage personal data and digital identities, to solutions that allow consumers to pay together for e-commerce transactions, as well as programs that empower citizens to be in control of their financial obligations across multiple geographies.

The full list of the companies comprising the latest wave of the program include:

  • Agora Services: Helps banks enhance their legacy payment platforms (without replacing them) for a better user experience.
  • Billpocket (Mexico): Improves Mexico’s businesses competitiveness leveraging card payments for everyone through mPOS.
  • Extend (US): Extend is a platform that provides banks, FinTechs and their customers with the ability to distribute digital credit cards.
  • Jaib (UAE): Instant consumer credit for unbanked customer purchases in emerging markets.
  • Meeco (Australia): Enables individuals and organizations to create mutual value from personal data in a transparent, ethical, compliant way.
  • Pay By Group (US): Helps merchants sell more by letting friends buy together online. The buy button for groups.
  • Rewire (Germany): Helps international citizens manage their financial obligations across two countries or more.
  • Silot (Singapore and China): Empowers banks with fast and scalable AI
  • Lidya (Nigeria): Helps small businesses in emerging markets access credit within one day.
  • Simudyne (UK): Provides simulation software for financial firms to easily build massively scalable AI simulations
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