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June 8, 2023

Six startups join inaugural Mastercard Start Path Small Business cohort to uncover joint innovation opportunities and scale solutions that drive simple, secure digital experiences for SMEs globally

Small and medium enterprises are the backbone of our economies and the cornerstone of our communities. Yet with the accelerated shift to digital and evolving customer needs, there are increasing pressures on SMEs to keep pace with changing expectations. Technology is ushering in a new era of choice, simplicity and personalization, and changing the way businesses pay and get paid.

From making and receiving payments and getting access to working capital to digitizing their business and maintaining accessible, safe data, SMEs require digital payment solutions and innovative tools to run their enterprises efficiently and securely. Mastercard is welcoming the first cohort of fintechs dedicated to SME innovation to its global startup engagement program, Start Path, to discover opportunities that will help address the broad range of SME needs on their digitalization journey.

The following startups have been selected for the program, as they demonstrate strong synergies with Mastercard’s approach to helping entrepreneurs grow their business and provide solutions beyond payments that will help SMEs thrive:

Cumplo (LAC): Connects Latin American SMEs with global capital markets to accelerate their growth


“With our model, we are able to channel the right amount of capital – in a matter of hours – at a fair rate to SMEs that are struggling to access the working capital they need to grow."

- Nico Shea, Founder

DigiAlly (AP): Builds trust in small and medium enterprise lending through AI-enabled scoring


"DigiAlly is revolutionizing the way SMEs can avail smooth access to growth capital using a robust reliability score that highlights the potential, intent and integrity of an SME to determine their actual creditworthiness.”

- Shrikant Patil, founder and CEO

PayGoal (LAC): Helps companies in Latin America build their acceptance value proposition for merchants


“We offer seamless and innovative acceptance solutions and services that simplify merchant operations.”

- Leonardo Camandone, CEO

Tillful (US): Helps small businesses access and build credit through a modern business credit platform


“Tillful’s core mission is to make the credit ecosystem accessible to the Main Street small businesses that are often overlooked for financing opportunities by conventional banks and lenders.”

Ken So, founder and CEO

Tribe Fintech (AP): Leverages an integrated ecosystem of simple digital tools and networks that help SMEs make better business decisions and improve their financial health


“We partner with forward-thinking banks to leverage the power of data and ecosystems and drive positive impact in the world – particularly for underserved SMEs.”

Mo Harvey, founder and CEO

Uome (EU): Enables seamless integration and customization for sole traders and small business owners through a flexible, API-driven platform


“Uome is supercharging the SME economy. Our platform supports all aspects of running a small business and Uome's functionalities are available to any organization wanting to leverage our robust infrastructure via APIs to enhance their digital customer experience.”

Jason Halstead, CEO

Throughout the four-month program, these startups will have the opportunity to leverage Mastercard’s expertise and global network of customers and partners to uncover product partnerships and opportunities that will ultimately help deliver simple, secure and trusted solutions for SMEs at scale. Each startup will receive access to curated programming and a dedicated mentor who will help them identify innovation opportunities as well as provide forums to pitch their products and solutions to prospects. To date, 360 companies from 49 countries have participated in Start Path.

“Embracing digital transformation is no longer a luxury for small businesses – it’s a necessity in today's digital age,” said Jane Prokop, executive vice president, Small and Medium Enterprises at Mastercard. “The newest cohort of startups joining Start Path are providing cutting-edge solutions, tools and services to help small business owners unlock their full potential in the digital world and collaborating with Mastercard to help bring SMEs everywhere into the financial mainstream.”

For decades, we’ve been leveraging our network, insights, technology and partnerships to support small businesses. Over just the past few years, we have provided 25 million women entrepreneurs with solutions that can help them grow their business through our commercial and philanthropic efforts, including the women-founded and -led companies in the Start Path program. We will continue to focus on supporting women entrepreneurs through Start Path and beyond as we work toward our broader financial inclusion goals of bringing one billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025.

Interested startups can apply for the Mastercard Start Path Small Business program here.

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