On February 13th, Nairobi will be at the forefront of fintech innovation as it hosts the first Demo Day of the Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator program. The event, set to showcase some of the most promising fintech startups from across Africa, marks a significant milestone in Visa’s efforts to bolster the fintech ecosystem on the continent.
Launched in June 2023, the Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator program is designed to nurture the growth of Africa’s vibrant startup community. By providing startups with one-on-one mentorship, personalized training, and invaluable networking opportunities, Visa aims to unlock the full potential of digital payments across the continent.
From an overwhelming pool of over 1,000 applicants, 23 startups were carefully selected to participate in the program’s first cohort. These startups hail from 18 different countries and operate across a wide range of fintech subsectors, including merchant payment solutions, lending infrastructure, Banking-as-a-Service, and B2B marketplaces.
Among the startups pitching on Demo Day are Duqha, Power, and Workpay from Kenya, OkHi from Nigeria, and Eversend from Uganda. These companies represent the innovative spirit and entrepreneurial drive that define Africa’s fintech scene.
The event promises to be a gathering of some of the most influential players in the fintech ecosystem, including funding partners, angel investors, and venture capitalists. It’s an unparalleled opportunity for startups to present their innovations and potentially secure investment to scale their operations.
Brian Dempsey, Founder and CEO of Power, a Kenyan financial technology provider, shared his experience with the accelerator program, highlighting the value of the mentorship and tailored sessions covering critical aspects of business growth such as HR, Finance, Governance, and Go to Market Strategies.
Visa’s commitment to fostering innovation doesn’t stop here. The program is already accepting applications for its second cohort, inviting seed to Series A startups operating in Africa to apply. The focus areas for the next cohort include unlocking money movement, embedded finance, empowering merchants and SMEs, payment infrastructure enablers, the future of finance, and sustainable and inclusive finance.
Otto Williams, Senior Vice President, Head of Product, Partnerships, and Digital Solutions for Visa CEMEA, expressed enthusiasm for the ongoing effort to support Africa’s fintech ecosystem. He emphasized the unique opportunity the accelerator program offers entrepreneurs for mentorship, growth, and access to a broader network of partners and investors.
As the Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator program gears up for its second iteration, the fintech landscape in Africa looks set for an exciting phase of growth and innovation. For startups looking to be a part of this transformative journey, the application window remains open until February 29th.