Mastercard celebrates Nordic and Baltic start-ups with Lighthouse FINITIV and MASSIV innovation awardsDecember 3, 2021 | By akristersson
Start-ups from Estonia, Finland, and Sweden received awards commending their innovation and social impact as part of Mastercard Lighthouse
3 December, Helsinki – Mastercard has announced the winners of its Lighthouse FINITIV and MASSIV 2021 Autumn program awards – held at SLUSH in Helsinki – with start-ups from the Nordic and Baltic recognised for excellence in innovation and social impact. Forming part of Mastercard Lighthouse, the two programs represent core foundations of Mastercard’s wider commitment to empower European start-ups to fulfil their ambitions at scale and speed.
Mastercard Lighthouse – run in tandem with Invenio Growth – is an open innovation platform designed to strengthen the entire financial services ecosystem by facilitating symbiotic partnerships between fintechs, Mastercard, and leading Nordic and Baltic Banks. The Autumn 2021 series included partnerships with Danske Bank, UNDP, Nordic Impact Funds, OP Financial Group, Swedbank, SEB and Synch.
The Lighthouse FINITIV and MASSIV programs – which combined welcome over 20 start-ups from the Baltics and Nordics – focus on the development of fintechs and social impact technology companies respectively. The three-month workshop series each provide mentorship and guidance to over 20 start-ups from the Nordics and Baltics and offer lead award winners the opportunity to pitch for Start Path, Mastercard’s global start-up engagement program.
The lead prize for the FINITIV program was awarded to Estonian start-up Single.Earth for its achievements in the sustainable payments space. Backed by EQT Ventures and Icebreaker.vc, the start-up has introduced a payment method that offers consumers a solution to cap global emissions by rewarding landowners for nature preservation. Start-ups EASI and Bleam were also commemorated as the best Swedish and Finnish companies in the FINITIV program respectively.
Our team at Single.Earth worked tirelessly to make this happen. Mastercard Lighthouse program was a great opportunity to connect us with financial sector companies across the region,” said Merit Valdsalu, CEO & Founder at Single.Earth.
“We are happy to see that start-ups are becoming more focused on sustainability area that it is one of the main directions in SEB strategic agenda. Congratulations to Single.Earth becoming the winner of Mastercard Lighthouse FINITIV program. SEB partners with the program since it was established in 2018 and we treat this program as one of the best sources to get in interaction with quality start-ups for potential collaboration. It is a great opportunity for both sides to blend competence, share knowledge and build beneficial solutions to customers and society,” – said Giedrė Ramanauskaitė, Innovation Manager at SEB.
For the MASSIV program, it was Swedish company Investure that collected the prize award for its work to bridge the excessive funding gap in developing markets. The start-up – which was commended for its high partnership potential – created a blockchain-based solution that eliminates investment barriers through digitalisation of private market transactions, asset servicing and creating liquidity through the secondary market.
“Winning the Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV program means a lot to Investure. With help from valuable advisors and experts, many opportunities came out of the program for us. This will definitely make a difference in our scaling journey to close the funding gap in developing markets and establish a global exchange for impact,” – said Joakim Blom, CEO Investure.
Mastercard also selected Norwegian start-up Othalo as the recipient of the MASSIV program’s Impact Potential award. The company has a patented technology that allows for upcycling local plastic waste into building material to construct adequate and affordable housing. By re-using over 6 million tons of ocean plastic, Othalo has the potential to build 1 million houses in Africa and create jobs for more than 200,000 people.
“Since its launch, the Mastercard Lighthouse program has consistently highlighted the exceptional talent, innovation, and inspiration that exists throughout the Nordic and Baltic start-up circuit. The FINITIV and MASSIV 2021 fall program participants have been no different, exhibiting unique thinking and passion to create digital solutions that benefit the long-term future of both our people and planet. I congratulate Single.Earth, Investure, and Othalo on their award wins and we look forward to taking the next step forward in their journeys together,” – commented Mats Taraldsson, Head of Innovation, Fintech and Impact-tech Engagement, Mastercard Nordics and Baltics.
Additionally, applications for the Mastercard Lighthouse 2022 spring programs are now open. If you are part of a Nordic or Baltic impact tech company, you can find out more and apply here.
About Lighthouse Program
Mastercard Lighthouse is an open innovation platform designed to strengthen the entire financial services ecosystem. Lighthouse is a free program designed to catalyse symbiotic partnerships between fintechs, Mastercard, and leading Nordic and Baltic Banks. Pairing the energy and innovation of fintechs with the stability and distribution at large financial service firms, Lighthouse produces partnerships that strengthen the entire ecosystem. Each five-month program hosts workshops for 15+ fintechs from the region. The program brings banks, investors, advisors and fintechs together to explore partnerships via open innovation.
Read more about Lighthouse at www.mclighthouse.com
About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)
Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.