The Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) announced Egypt’s top three winners during the final event.
Neqabty is the winner of the first place who won EGP 500,000 cash prize and advanced to compete at the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CEMEA) regional finals. Neqabty, in addition, was voted as the audience’s favorite fintech, and won further EGP100,000 prize money.
The winner of the second place is ZealPay and received EGP 350,000, while the winner of the third place is ElGameya awarded EGP 250,000 as well as opportunities to partner with a global trusted brand like Visa. As supporting companies who are building solutions that power seamless money movement everywhere is a top priority for Visa, the company launched the global VEI for the first time in Egypt in partnership with Fintech Egypt, an initiative by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), to give Egyptian fintech innovators the opportunity to meet and compete on a global stage alongside prestigious startups and fintech innovators in the world.
The VEI witnessed huge traction in Egypt and received 270 applications that included prominent names; with 20 applicants shortlisted, five of whom were competing at the finals.
VEI is one of many other initiatives introduced by Visa in partnership with Fintech Egypt, as part of its plans to develop the broader financial ecosystem and drive adoption of digital payments and strengthen consumer education efforts in the region.
VEI is a global open innovation program that invites fintech and payment startups across the globe to showcase their innovative products and solutions, with finalists gaining first hand exposure to key fintech stakeholders across banking, merchant, VC, and government sectors.
Leila Serhan, Visa’s Senior Vice President & Group Country Manager – North Africa, Levant & Pakistan, said: “Fintechs and other payment innovators are transforming the way consumers and businesses make payments by making it easier for more people to access the money they need when they need it. The rising demand of customers for easy and safe payment solutions has made the search for innovative solutions more important than ever. Congratulations to our winner Neqabty and thank you to all who participated. We hope that this program provides the participating companies, across the world, a golden opportunity to explore the global landscape of financial technology and innovative solutions in the field of payments. We look forward to supporting them in their future efforts. We delightfully extend our sincere gratitude to our judges and esteemed guests.”
“I’m very proud that we have put Egypt on the global and regional fintech map, the successful presentation of the ‘Visa Everywhere’ initiative in Egypt, and our extraordinary winners; which confirms Visa’s belief in the promising capabilities of startups in Egypt. I’m also thrilled that the winner of the first place Neqabty is co-owned by a woman, which shows how women are capable of excelling in the fintech field, how they are rapidly and strongly growing and changing the business game; this comes at the core of Visa’s strategies to foster women’s empowerment and enabling diversity and inclusion,” said Malak El-Baba, Visa Egypt’s Country Manager.
“We are very proud to be part of this great initiative, which is happening for the first time in Egypt. Winning the first place puts on our shoulders a huge responsibility for representing Egypt in the semi-finals. Thank you, Visa and FinTech Egypt for the opportunity you gave us to connect with fintech leaders and the ecosystem, and to share our ideas. We are extremely motivated and looking forward to representing our beloved Egypt on an international scale,” said Dina El Fouly Co-founder, Product Management Head at Neqbaty.
The VEI network includes 8,500 startups from around the world, which continues to grow every year. Since its launch in 2015, the program has helped startups from over 100 countries collectively raise more than $2.5bn in funding, addressing one of the biggest challenges faced by early-stage entrepreneurs. Every year, the scope of VEI is expanded to engage with unique startups and solve unique problems in the world of payments. Visa does not acquire any equity from Visa Everywhere Initiative competitors as part of this competition.