Twelve early-stage startups have made to the Finance Forward MENA 2020 accelerator. The early-stage startups are PayMint (Egypt), We-Settle (Tunisia), Khazna Tech (Egypt), and Valify Solutions (Egypt).
The accelerator will kick-off virtually with 5 weeks of online in-person training focusing on the improvement of the business model while ensuring financial health solutions are available to those worst affected by the current economic downturn.
Startups picked for the accelerator will work alongside potential clients, mentors, and partners. The same applies to investors who want to scale their impact using self-evaluation tools such as Village Capital’s Abaca. Companies that make it to the top five will share a US$150,000 in grant funding from MetLife Foundation.
The startups in the cohort
- Bilforon from Jordan, with a marketplace for home cooks selling food from their houses.
- Buyback Bazaar Technology, from the UAE with an online portal that offers emergency lending in exchange for personal items which can be bought back later.
- Datacultr Fintech Limited from the UAE, with an institutional lending platform that uses the smartphone as collateral.
- Distichain from the UAE with an open e-commerce and e-procurement trading platform.
- PayMint from Egypt with a financial services platform.
- E-Bursum from Turkey with an education platform guiding students by connecting them to crowdfunding, scholarships, and educational loans.
- Khazna Tech from Egypt which is a salary-backed loan platform
- HubPay from the UAE with a digital remittance wallet.
- Markit from Lebanon with a grocery delivery service.
- Valify Solutions from Egypt giving access to those in rural areas formal financial services.
- We-Settle from Tunisia with a cloud-based invoicing solution for businesses.
- WorqCompany from Turkey, a one-stop-shop for SMEs that need accounting, human resources, and office space.
Alicia Sornson, who is the Manager of Programs & Partnerships in MENA at Village Capital, gave a statement: “I am incredibly excited to work with the twelve startups selected for this program that are developing products to help low-income individuals, families and small businesses manage their day-to-day finances as well as build short-and long-term savings and wealth.”
Dirk Ostijn, Head of EMEA, MetLife, pointed out how: “Times of crisis can spur great innovation, and the Finance Forward entrepreneurs are working with energy and optimism as they seek solutions for these challenges.”