The Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI), a global open innovation initiative and competition for start-ups and fintech companies, has announced the winner as Nigeria’s ThriveAgric, an innovative start-up that champions technology to revolutionize the payments landscape for smallholder farmers.
The global finale, which took place in Qatar during the FIFA World Cup 2022, was preceded by a year-long tournament in which entrepreneurs from all over the world participated in regional competitions before moving on to the final round.
According to Andrew Torre, regional president for Visa’s CEMEA region, “this year we have seen more than 4,000 fintechs join in the worldwide Visa Everywhere Initiative, including a record 1,130 applications from Central Europe, Middle East, and Africa.” More individuals will find it simpler to access and move money when they need it because to a new fintech generation that is revolutionizing how consumers and businesses make payments. We extend our congratulations to ThriveAgric and all of this year’s competition’s winners, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with fintechs to address tomorrow’s payment concerns.
The VEI competition offers a unique perspective on how fintech are influencing the future of money movement and extending access to underserved markets and regions, according to Ruben Salazar, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Visa Direct. “As we strive to create more ways for people, SMBs, and larger businesses to participate in the global economy. The winner of the Visa Direct Award today will have access to cutting-edge resources and teams that facilitate international money transfers to billions of endpoints globally.
To honor the creative fintechs and their solutions, the event included thought leaders from Visa and the industry as well as a past Visa Everywhere Initiative winner. Wade Arnold, founder and CEO of Moov Financial and winner of the North American and global competitions for the 2021 Visa Everywhere Initiative, served once again as a judge. Special guest Dr. Saeeda Jaffar, Group Country Manager for the GCC region at Visa, moderated a fireside chat with football legend Marcel Desailly.
The co-founder of ThriveAgric and competition winner for the CEMEA region, Ayo Arikawe, gave his pitch on how ThriveAgric is facilitating strategic partnerships with financial institutions and players in the agriculture value chain to offer smallholders access to financial services, agricultural inputs, extension, market linkage, e-commerce, and payment services.
“As a key sector of the Nigerian economy, agriculture provides many of our people with their livelihood and major source of income. Because of the effort we’ve put into ThriveAgric, technology will be used to empower farmers all around the country. It gives me a lot of confidence in our capacity to scale our solutions and continue to improve the lives of farmers to not only win the CEMEA regional VEI competition but also pitch in the final here in Qatar, said Ayo Arikawe.
- 1st place: ThriveAgric – a fintech providing smallholder farmers access to finance, insights and distribution
- 2nd place: Zeti – a fintech enabling pay per use financing of sustainable transport
- Visa Direct prize: ThriveAgric – a fintech providing smallholder farmers access to finance, insights and distribution
- Audience Favorite: Huli – a platform that connects patients, doctors and other healthcare services
The global final of the Visa Everywhere Initiative was livestreamed on Techcrunch and can be viewed on its website here.