ThriveAgric, a fintech company providing smallholder farmers access to finance, insights, and distribution has emerged winner of the 2022 Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI).
“This year, more than 4,000 fintechs participated in the global Visa Everywhere Initiative, including a record 1,130 applications from Central Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA),” said Andrew Torre, regional president for CEMEA, Visa in a statement.
“A new fintech generation is transforming how consumers and businesses make payments, making it easier for more people to access and move money when they need it,” he said.
“We congratulate Ayo and all the winners in this year’s competition, and we look forward to continuing partnerships with fintechs to solve the payments challenges of tomorrow,” Torre added.
Taking place in Qatar alongside the FIFA World Cup 2022, the global finale was preceded by a year-long competition that saw more than 4,000 entrepreneurs across the world entering innovative ideas to solve the payment challenges of tomorrow.
Ayo Arikawe, the co-founder of ThriveAgric and now winner of both the global and the CEMEA competitions, delivered his pitch on how his fintech is 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.
He noted that agriculture is the livelihood and main source of income for many people, a central part of the Nigerian economy.
“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 to pitch at the final here in Qatar gives me great confidence in our ability to scale our solutions and continue to enrich farmers’ lives.”
In addition to the overall winner, Zeti, a fintech enabling pay-per-use financing of sustainable transport won second place, while Huli, a platform that connects patients, doctors, and other healthcare services won third place.
Ruben Salazar, senior vice president and global head of Visa Direct, said “the VEI competition provides a unique insight into how fintechs 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,” Salazar said.
VEI is a global open innovation program and competition for start-ups and fintech companies.