ThriveAgric, a Nigerian innovative start-up that adopts technology to transform the payments landscape to the agricultural sector, has emerged winner of the 2022 Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI).
Mr Andrew Torre, Regional President for Central Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA), said this in a statement on Friday in Lagos.
Torre noted that the global finale was precedded by a year-long competition that saw entrepreneurs across the world compete in regional editions before advancing to the final stage.
“This year we have seen more than 4,000 fintechs participate in the global Visa Everywhere Initiative, including a record 1,130 applications from Central Europe, Middle East and Africa.
“A new fintech generation is transforming the way consumers and businesses make payments, making it easier for more people to access and move money when they need it.
“We congratulate ThriveAgric and all the winners in this year’s competition, and we look forward to continue partnering with fintechs to solve the payments challenges of tomorrow,” said Andrew Torre, Regional President for CEMEA, Visa.
Mr Ruben Salazar, Senior Vice President and global head of Visa Direct, was quoted as saying that the VEI competition provided a unique insight on how fintechs were shaping the financial industry.
“As we strive to create more ways for people, SMBs, and larger businesses to participate in the global economy, the VEI competition provides a unique insight on how fintech are helping shape the future of money movement and expanding access to underserved markets and regions.
“Today’s Visa Direct Award winner will have access to modern tools and teams that help enable global money movement to billions of endpoints worldwide.
“The event brought together Visa and industry thought leaders and a previous Visa Everywhere Initiative winner to celebrate the innovative fintechs and their solutions,” Salazar said.
Mr Ayo Arikawe, Co-Founder of ThriveAgric and winner of the CEMEA leg of the competition, delivered his pitch on how ThriveAgric was enabling strategic partnerships with financial institutions and agriculture value chain players to provide smallholders with financial services, agriculture inputs, extension, market linkage, e-commerce, and payment services.
Arikawe noted that agriculture was the livelihood and main source of income for many people in Nigeria.
“As a central part of the Nigerian economy, agriculture is the livelihood and main source of income for many of our people.
“The hard work we’ve put into ThriveAgric will ensure that technology is leveraged to empower farmers across the country.
“To not only win the CEMEA regional VEI competition but also pitch at the final here in Qatar gives me great confidence in our ability to scale our solutions and continue to enrich farmers’ lives,” Arikawe said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Zeti, a fintech enabling pay per use financing of sustainable transport from Europe came second.
The VEI is an open innovation programme that helps start-ups unlock new opportunities and gives them a global platform to demonstrate their ground-breaking solutions.
The programme first launched in the U.S. in 2015, quickly expanded into a global programme. To date, nearly 8,500 start-ups have participated, and have collectively raised more than 16 billion dollars in funding.
It is open to all start-ups who offer innovative solutions to the payments and commerce challenges of tomorrow.
It also helps support start-ups and fintech in two ways; it gives them a global stage to pitch their solutions to a panel of payments experts, win prizes and gain wider attention in the sector.
Also as a programme, it plugs start-ups into our global network of partners.
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