Six promising Norwegian, Finnish and Swedish impact tech companies join Mastercard’s Lighthouse MASSIV partnership program to scale globally17. marts 2022 | København | Af Annika Kristersson
Lighthouse MASSIV, Mastercard’s impact tech partnership program dedicated to helping one billion people live more prosperous and secure lives by 2025, is pleased to announce its spring class consisting of six sustainability- and social impact-focused startups from Norway, Finland and Sweden.
Unlike traditional accelerators, Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV is free and focused primarily on helping impact tech companies achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals through partnership. By connecting Nordic and Baltic startups with high impact potential to large organizations, the program aims to help sustainable innovators achieve global distribution. Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV remains a competitive program for startups. Since the platform’s launch in 2019, 884 applicants have applied to Lighthouse by submitting partnership proposals to scale. MASSIV’s 2022 spring class stands as the most competitive class in program history, prompting Mastercard to admit six startups instead of the usual five.
Meet the spring class of Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV:
Eliq – The Sweden-based company offers a SaaS platform that helps service providers build engaging digital products to help consumers better manage their energy usage and inspire them to join the transition to clean energy. The company is headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden and serves over 20 utilities and other service providers across Europe, reaching millions of end-users.
“As the European banking sector is fast-tracking its transition to the green economy, we are excited to be joining this program. Financial institutions play a key role in unlocking the energy transition for consumers, and we are looking forward to working with Mastercard and program partners Swedbank and Danske Bank on that challenge.” – Håkan Ludvigson, Founder & CEO at Eliq
Beleco – The Sweden-based platform lets companies subscribe to furniture fully flexible per month from more than 50 well-known suppliers. Beleco creates the incentive to build products that last, to consume responsibly, and to enable a new circular economy making the world more sustainable.
“Climate change threatens every human and every part of the planet. It’s a global problem that requires new systems and solutions for solving it. Changing the world is possible — we’re doing it with Beleco. To accelerate the transition to a circular economy we need to work together with large companies and organizations to reach a global scale by 2030. That’s why we are excited to work together with organizations such as Mastercard and their global partners.” – Sebastian Rudenstam, Co-founder & CEO at Beleco
SomeBuddy – The Finland-based platform protects social media users with their solution and provides 24/7 first-aid to victims of online harassment. Their first aid consists of a 360-model in which the victim receives legal, psychological and technical support for their emergency.
“As a startup we are at the phase where we have built our impact innovation and we look for the next steps to enable the means to make the impact fulfill its full potential. We see this program as an exceptional opportunity to create partnerships that will scale our impact globally” – Suvi Uski, Co-Founder & CEO at SomeBuddy
Baia – The Finland-based company provides a collaborative commerce platform designed to empower agents in informal markets and connect them to other agents with the purpose of creating trusted commerce networks using messaging. Baia is scaling fast in East Africa and Bangladesh, and the company is backed by investors including Antler, Launch Africa, and Founders Factory Africa (backed by Standard Bank and the NetCare Group).
“We’re honoured to be chosen for the Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV program. The team at Baia is looking forward to collaborating so we can scale our work helping both SMEs and large corporations to operate securely and flourish in cash economies." – Michael Wallis Brown, Founder & CEO at Baia
TotalCtrl – The Norway-based company has built a food transparency platform that enables elimination of food waste and allows for increased traceability throughout the entire food value chain - from farm to fork. The technology has been tested and validated by online grocery stores, hotels, restaurants, nursing homes, kindergartens, food banks and consumers. TotalCtrl is a certified B corp company and has been awarded 38 awards. After only using the solution for 1 month, customers have seen a 35,4% reduction in food waste and a 60% reduction in time and costs.
“TotalCtrl's goal is to ensure a food-waste free and transparent food supply chain. Together with Mastercard and as participants in the Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV program, we will be able to accelerate our positive impact on people, the planet and profit” – Charlotte Aschim, Founder & CEO at TotalCtrl
Wakandi – The Norway-based fintech company offers a distributed ledger technology-based financial system. The system digitizes savings and loans management for informal financial groups in Africa. Wakandi focuses on bringing innovation to the informal sector by digitalization and increasing access to financial services.
“One of our goals at Wakandi is to touch the lives of more than 10 million people. As we progress to bring the power of digital transformation to the informal economy in Africa, joining Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV helps us get closer to our mission. We look forward to exciting opportunities ahead” – Espen Kvelland, CEO at Wakandi
The companies joining the program this spring have been chosen because of their desire and ability to scale sustainable partnerships. Mastercard hopes to enhance these collaborations to achieve the vision of making the world a more prosperous and secure place.
“In the Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV program we always look for the right mix between social impact and sustainability-focused companies that we can help pursue partnerships. With our vision of helping one billion people live more prosperous and secure lives by 2025, it is important to support startups impacting both people and planet. This time we are extremely proud to work on the scaling journey of Wakandi and Baia -operating in developing countries within financial inclusion and transparency; Somebuddy, -tackling modern societies’ challenge of online social harassment, and Eliq, Beleco and TotalCtrl -focused on smart solutions for responsible production and sustainable consumption choices.” – Mats Taraldsson, Head of Innovation, Fintech and Impact Tech Engagement, Mastercard Nordics and Baltics
Over the years, Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV has featured companies like Desert Control, whose agritech nanoclay technology is one of the promising technologies turning deserts into fertile land. Other program winners include PlasticFri, which offers a plant-based alternative to fossil-based plastics, Molecular Attraction, a company combatting vector-borne diseases like malaria, Investure, a co-investing platform for developing markets, and SPENN, a company allowing people in developing countries to lend, spend and save money cost-free. Read about the 2021 partnership that SPENN signed with Mastercard in the recently published Lighthouse report.
As part of the Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV program, startups receive feedback and support from advisory board members and experts with diverse and impressive backgrounds, such as the Walt Disney Company Nordics, Synch and Nordic Impact Funds. These board members represent sustainability experts, investors, and executives, each with their own global network:
“Serving on the Advisory Board to the Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV program and working with the ambitious and dedicated entrepreneurs is so energizing and also gives good comfort that we will indeed manage the future global challenges.” – Jim Runsten, Founder & CEO at Synch
“I am truly impressed by the innovative partnerships built during the Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV program. These innovative and impactful solutions only become truly impactful when scaled up significantly. Many startups believe that they just need to raise more capital; but often designing and building the right partnerships could be the key to both scaling and capital” – Lisbeth Zacho, Co-Founder & Partner at Nordic Impact Funds
Mastercard collaborates with banking partners Swedbank and Danske Bank on the Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV initiative, all aiming at doing well by doing good on both sustainability and social impact:
“Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV, a partnership platform where innovation and financial services join hands to accelerate the transition to create a sustainable society. From talking to doing.”
– Fredrik Nilzén, Head of Group Sustainability at Swedbank
“We at Danske Bank are excited to support start-ups aiming for scaling and doing good for the world – A program like Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV is a key driver in building and connecting with the right partners and ecosystems, and vital in bringing out the solutions and reaching the stars”
– Geetha Selvakumar, Chief Consultant Beyond Banking & ESG at Danske Bank
About Lighthouse MASSIV
Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV is an open innovation platform designed to make and scale social impact and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals with the format of long-term partnerships. By providing teams with competitive incentives and preferential access to partner resources, Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV aims to foster partnerships that will enrich the lives of one billion people by 2025. Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV is designed as a three-stage program. At the first stage, the companies meet with our advisory board, a hand-picked group of executives and partnership experts from around the world, who aim to bring a specific partnership to life. Each partnership proposal receives input from global experts in legal, design, and technology before reporting the results of their partnership endeavors back to the advisory board. The winner of the program is the team that demonstrates the potential to impact the most people via partnership.
Read more about Lighthouse MASSIV here: www.mclighthouse.com/massiv