Exploring Africa’s blossoming fintech ecosystem, The Fintech Times delves into the success of Visa’s Accelerator Program through the lens of its participants, uncovering the program’s instrumental role in fostering and bolstering startups across the continent.
Introduced in July of last year, the Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator is a 12-week virtual initiative designed to aid fintech startups throughout the continent, providing them with the necessary resources to foster growth and make a significant contribution and impact on the African digital economy.
With the program now accepting applications for its second cohort, the first iteration of the accelerator featured 23 startups representing sub-sectors from all areas of fintech including merchant payment solutions, lending infrastructure, banking-as-a-service, neo banking, Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL), and B2B marketplaces.
For further insights into their engagement, Polly Jean Harrison from The Fintech Times sat down with Stone Atwine, CEO of Eversend – a digital-only finance platform aimed at serving individuals and businesses in Africa and beyond, with a mission to enhance accessibility and affordability in financial services.
Growth and development
For the startup, being able to participate in the accelerator program has been a “pivotal experience” according to Atwine.
He said: “It’s contributed significantly to our growth and development as a company. Through the program we’ve gained access to a network of peers – this is extremely important to us to connect with potential partners and industry leaders. These connections have opened doors for potential collaborations and partnerships, and even customers.”
During the program, each startup received personalised mentoring from industry professionals as well as valuable content from a variety of players across the ecosystem. For Atwine, it was this mentorship that was one of the most valuable aspects of the program.
He said: “Additionally, we are actively pursuing partnerships with Visa and have been fortunate to receive mentorship from the Visa team, including industry experts and leaders, as well as the Plug and Play team. These mentors have offered insights into strategic planning, product development and scaling operations which have been really instrumental in refining our business model.”
He concluded: “While going through the program we managed to get to 2 million downloads – that’s a big deal for us. Visa has significantly helped us enhance our visibility and credibility in the market, so this has been really beneficial for us in terms of attracting new partners and new customers. Overall, we are very happy with our involvement in the accelerator.”
To learn more about Eversend, its position in the African market and involvement in the Visa Fintech Accelerator, watch the full video interview below.