Hello Tractor, an agritech startup with operations in Nigeria and Kenya is one of the eleven firms selected into the Start Path accelerator program by Mastercard.
Start Path evaluates more than 1,500 applications each year and selects approximately 40 startups that offer the most promising technologies and demonstrate a readiness to scale. Startups in the program have gone on to raise $2.7 billion post-program capital and collaborate with Mastercard, major banks, merchants, and other high-profile organisations.
In a statement BusinessDay received, Mastercard said the six months program which was established in 2014 has been expanded to include more entrepreneurs and technology partners to its Engage network which provides access to expert engineers and specialists that can help customers deploy new services quickly and efficiently.
Mastercard said over 230 later-stage startups worldwide to participate in the six-month virtual program, providing technical guidance, operational support, and commercial engagements within the Mastercard ecosystem.
“We are particularly excited to partner with regional innovative fintechs, such as Hello Tractor, through our Start Path program,” Raghav Prasad, Division President for sub-Saharan Africa, Mastercard said. “These partnerships are crucial as we continue to build the digital economy through ongoing innovations and harness Africa’s potential.”
Founded in 2014, Hello Tractor connects tractor owners to farmers through an Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled digital solution that bridges the gap between manual and mechanised farming. The firm enables farmers to request affordable tractor services while providing enhanced security to tractor owners through remote asset tracking and virtual monitoring.
“By partnering with Mastercard through the Start Path program, we have the opportunity to unlock additional value for our farmers by expanding their access to banking and payments infrastructure,” Jehiel Oliver, founder Hello Tractor said. “This combination of innovations holds unlimited promise for this continent and the global south.”
Several fintech firms in Africa have benefited from the Start Path program in the past. This includes Ukheshe, MAX, N-Frnds, Flutterwave; Kasha; mfarmPay; Netplus; Lidya; and Lipa Later. Most of these firms have achieved accelerated growth from the program over the past few years.