Fintech startup Kwara selected for Mastercard Start Path program

KENYAFintech startup Kwara is among the 11 start-ups that have been selected to join the Mastercard Start Path program.

The program is a springboard to help the best and brightest fintech start-ups maximize their opportunity for success.

 During the six-month program, the start-ups will learn from Mastercard experts and explore co-innovation opportunities.

 “We are honored to join forces with Mastercard and work on our shared vision to create financial inclusion for 1 billion people. We have seen how companies such as Flutterwave and Revolut have expanded their services in partnership with one of the biggest payment technology companies in the world. We are certain we can deepen our offering and together transform credit unions across emerging markets into modern, digital banks.” Cynthia Wandia, Kwara’s CEO, said.

“When fintech companies thrive, we all benefit,” said Amy Neale, Senior Vice President, Fintech & Enablers.

“We’re excited for Kwara to join the Mastercard Start Path program where they’ll receive access to our technology, customers and mentorship to accelerate their journey to grow and scale.”

Other start-ups joining the program are Finmod, Flourish Savings, GenEQTY, Karri, KeyChain Pay, Layer, Osper, Swap, upSWOT and Wellthi.

Mastercard has a track record of collaborating with start-ups and since founding Start Path in 2014, the company has uncovered co-innovation opportunities and provided mentorship to more than 260 start-ups that have gone on to collectively raise more than us$5 billion in capital.

“We are honored to join forces with Mastercard and work on our shared vision to create financial inclusion for 1 billion people”

Cynthia Wandia – CEO, Kwara

This comes as another Kenyan customer loyalty startup CashBackApp has announced having raised a US$475,000 pre-seed funding round to help scale its service in Kenya and prepare for expansion to neighboring countries. 

Formed in late-2018, CashBackApp helps fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies to build loyalty amongst customers by allowing them to earn cashback via M-Pesa on their everyday shopping.

The startup partners with FMCG companies and retailers, who use the app to reward shoppers with cashback for buying products that they promote on the app and has achieved significant traction, with the user base growing at a monthly compounded rate of 38 percent in the first half of 2021 to reach 45,000 downloads. 

On the B2B side, CashBackApp has signed up major international FMCGs as customers, including Coca-Cola, Colgate and Ajab, while the retailer network consists of eight large multi-chain retailers including Khetias, Eastmatt, Mulleys and Jamaa.

The startup has now announced a US$475,000 pre-seed funding round to help scale the service in Kenya and prepare for expansion to neighboring countries.

Institutional investors that invested in the round include Lofty Inc, Sherpa Ventures and Loyal VC, while the round also had participation from several angel investors based in the US, UK, Nigeria and Kenya.

CashBackApp now plans to reach more than one million shoppers by December 2021.

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