MasterCard’s global Start Path accelerator calls for AsiaPac fintech startups

Start Path
Image credit: Sergey Nivens /

MasterCard’s startup accelerator, Start Path Global 2017, has opened up for applications until 23 April. Focused on building new industry partners, MasterCard recently welcomed five new startups to the project which is focused on later-stage startups reshaping the future of commerce.

The program is open to startups who are rethinking banking and payments and have already raised a significant seed or Series A round of investment.

Tobias Puehse, Vice President, Innovation Management, Digital Payments and Labs, Asia Pacific at MasterCard said, “Launching actual solutions for our customers in partnership with startups is always an exciting journey for us. We’re looking forward to working with the best startups in Asia Pacific as well as help them rapidly achieve scale through Start Path Global. It’s a great time to be collaborating to help tackle real problems as we work together to build revolutionary financial solutions and commerce experiences in Asia Pacific.”

Since its launch in 2014, Start Path Global has seen much success in Asia Pacific. Home to a thriving startup scene, the region has produced more than 77 sign-ups in Start Path’s 2017 spring wave alone.

One such firm is Mumbai-based Fluid AI, which combines artificial intelligence and augmented reality to help banks and retailers create next generation user experiences in-branch and in-store. One of three artificial intelligence (AI) focused startups joining this 2017 spring wave, it employs AI to design a variety of retail innovations, including solutions to analyze consumer behavior, enhance in-store or in-branch customer engagement, and compute bill and payment data.

Other Asia Pacific startups who have joined previous Start Path Global classes include:

  • Airwallex (Australia): An all-encompassing solution that provides quick, easy and cost-effective ways to make cross-border payments, Airwallex empowers users to harness commerce opportunities around the world.
  • IMG (China): IMG is a computer vision company that is embedding gesture recognitions into virtual reality and augmented reality. Its products have different use cases spanning virtual retail changing rooms to 3D modelling for gaming.
  • Razorpay (India): An online payment gateway that allows Indian businesses to collect payments online through credit cards, debit cards, net banking, and wallets.

To date, Start Path has received interest from more than 5,000 startups, and worked with 100 companies across 24 countries. Through the first four classes, 20 percent of the participants have worked with MasterCard in commercial engagements.

On a global level, some of the more promising Start Path graduates include:

  • DigiSEq, an IoT payment device enabler, to connect DigiSEq device manufacturer customers with MasterCard tokenization services and enable payments on wearables.
  • Kasisto, the company that created the conversational KAI Banking AI platform, is working with MasterCard to pilot a bot for banks that allows consumers to transact, manage finances, receive contextual offers and learn about benefits via messaging platforms.
  • RecargaPay, a mobile payment solution that enables Latin American consumers to top-up their prepaid mobile phones and pay for utility bills, is partnering with MasterCard to launch a card-on-file marketing promotion to attract new users.
  • Divido provides merchants and lenders with an omni-channel platform that allows their consumers to spread the cost of major purchases through instalments.
  • Endor is the first intelligence software platform that lets business users ask any predictive question and get high-quality results with unmatched accuracy and speed in any domain.
  • NetPlusDotCom enables retailers to transition from ‘bricks’ to ‘clicks’ and support their customers with digital payments capabilities.
  • Regalii works with more than 30 leading banks and fintech apps to give consumers an innovative way to manage their finances and pay their bills in the U.S. and Latin America.

Details and how to apply can be found at Start Path.

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