Embracing new ways to transact by unleashing the power of blockchain

April 28, 2023

Six fintech companies from across the globe are joining the Mastercard Start Path Digital Assets program to scale innovative solutions and build the future of commerce 

At Mastercard, we’re engineering the future of commerce by advancing blockchain technology that is safe, secure and trustworthy while also continuing to provide choice for consumers everywhere. The digital assets ecosystem is vibrant, and technology is broadening our definition of what we consider assets. As new assets emerge, we will continue to lean in and find new ways to use blockchain to solve real-world problems. We’re exploring future use cases and scaling new solutions with fintechs around the world through the Mastercard Start Path startup engagement program – from decentralizing the creator economy to tokenizing grant proposals to building crypto wallets and beyond.  

Through the Start Path Digital Assets program, startups receive bespoke training, access to Mastercard’s channels and customers as well as subject matter expertise, and an opportunity for technical collaboration. The companies handpicked for Start Path have a demonstrated product-market fit focused on digital assets, cryptocurrencies, blockchain value-added services and the metaverse, and have already raised seed or Series A capital.  

The following startups are joining Start Path for opportunities that will help them break into new markets and accelerate blockchain innovation: 

Axelar (Canada) delivers secure interchain communication for developers to interact with any asset or application on any chain with one click.  

  “Axelar and Mastercard are both leaders in payment innovation – working on very different technology stacks,” says Sergey Gorbunov, co-founder of Axelar. “Axelar is looking forward to collaborating with Mastercard in building the future of interconnected finance.”

Cheeze, Inc. (U.S.) uses the power of blockchain to allow a new way for brands to license user-generated content and help creators unlock additional revenue streams and rewards. 

 "We are honored to be participating in the Mastercard Start Path program – this gives everyone who is part of Cheeze massive confidence and recognition for the work we do,” says Simon Hudson, founder of Cheeze, Inc. “As with previous companies lucky enough to have been selected for the program, we are confident this will enhance our route to success at a much faster pace under Mastercard's proven guidance.”

Coala Pay (U.S.) tokenizes grant proposals, making it easier than ever to find, fund and track the impact of grassroots aid activities around the world. 

 “New technologies have the potential to support locally-led initiatives for change and dramatically improve the lives of people around the world - but they need to be properly fostered,” says Melyn McKay, founder of Coala Pay. “Start Path companies have been a lifeline to many of us working in humanitarian interventions around the world and we are looking forward to similarly growing our impact with Mastercard's support and guidance."

Qonbay.io (China) provides vendors and creators with tools to create their web3-based customer loyalty schemes that enhance scalability and ease navigation between both traditional and virtual worlds. 

 “We are honored and grateful as a team for the admission into the Mastercard Start Path program, which offers an exceptional opportunity for us to showcase the impact of our company and the value we contribute to the market,” says Anina Ho, chief operating officer of Qonbay.io. "We are convinced that joining the program will streamline our growth trajectory, allowing us to gain a stronger foothold in the global market and benefit from Mastercard's guidance.”

RociFi Labs (Singapore) builds machine learning and on-chain data solutions that democratize wallet intelligence for credit analytics.  

 "The Mastercard Start Path program is an amazing opportunity for RociFi Labs to leverage Mastercard's expertise and network to bring crypto applications to life,” says Chris Brookins, co-founder of RociFi Labs. “We have zero doubt that being a part of the program will dramatically expedite this process and lay the foundation for bridging two financial worlds into one.”

Suberra (Singapore) simplifies Web3 payments with an all-in-one infrastructure that accelerates crypto payment acceptance for recurring subscriptions, metaverse commerce, marketplaces and more.  

 “At Suberra, we are committed to building a payments infrastructure for Web 3.0 that is intuitive, seamless and secure,” says Edison Lim, co-founder and CEO of Suberra. "We are honored to be selected for Mastercard's Start Path program and look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with Mastercard and other startups to drive innovation in the payments industry."

These six startups will join the more than 350 companies from 42 countries that have participated in Start Path. Since the program was founded in 2014, Start Path has created more than 10,000 startup connections around the world, and today many of these companies are entering the public markets, reaching unicorn status and entering extended commercial engagements with Mastercard and its customers. 

As blockchain technology continues to evolve, Mastercard remains guided by our core foundational principles of stability, regulatory compliance and consumer protection. Our experience in payments innovation and building global networks prepares us for a hybrid economy that combines the benefits of blockchain technology with the existing financial infrastructure. With more than 90 million acceptance locations worldwide, we are bringing our trusted network to accelerate future adoption of blockchain, digital assets and Web3.  

Startups interested in the Start Path Digital Assets program can apply here.  

Learn more about how Mastercard is collaborating in the digital currencies space to transform commerce, financial services and more here.  

Media contact: Jen Langione, Mastercard Global Communications, (917) 408-2941, jen.langione@mastercard.com