Fostering the next generation of digital assets innovation

September 19, 2023

Seven blockchain and digital assets startups join Mastercard’s global startup engagement program to scale innovation, simplify the movement of decentralized financial assets and more 

Blockchain technology is playing an increasingly prominent role in finance and payments, unlocking countless opportunities to enable broader consumer choice. Blockchain, the technology that underpins most digital assets, is transforming commerce around the world. From speeding up supply chains to tracking carbon emissions, Mastercard is at the forefront of this innovation. Through the Start Path Blockchain and Digital Assets program, we’re supporting startups from around the world that are driving best-in-class user experiences and expanding use cases that reveal the incredible power of blockchain technology. 

Through Start Path, startups receive an opportunity for technical collaboration, access to Mastercard customers and channels as well as subject matter expertise and bespoke training. The following companies will join the nearly 360 startups from 43 countries in the Start Path portfolio that are looking to venture into new markets and scale blockchain innovation:  

Cenoa (Singapore) is a zero-fee digital dollar account that makes it easy and cheap to buy, grow, send and spend dollars in emerging markets. 


We started Cenoa with the mission of helping billions of people in emerging markets combat inflation. And participating in the Mastercard Start Path program will hugely expand Cenoa’s reach and already existing tremendous adoption.” says Seçkin Çağlın and Emre Ertan, co-founders of Cenoa.

Crossmint (U.S.) offers infrastructure for enterprises to build real life Non-Fungible Token (NFT) use cases, without requiring any blockchain experience or holding crypto, and making the blockchain invisible to end users.


“The world's coming on-chain but building and using blockchain apps is still extremely complicated. We built Crossmint to help companies create real life NFT use cases accessible to everyone" say Rodri Fernandez Touza and Alfonso Gómez-Jordana, co-founders of Crossmint. “We are proud to join the Mastercard Start Path program and leverage Mastercard's ecosystem to make this happen faster.

CUBE3.AI (U.S.) is a blockchain transaction security platform that declines exploits, scams and fraudulent transactions in real-time.


“Web3 has a security gap: real-time transaction security,” says Einaras Gravrock, founder and CEO of CUBE3.AI. “The key to unlocking blockchain potential is making the security stack more secure by blocking malicious and fraudulent transactions in real time, which will build trust and incentivize more companies to feel safer entering the ecosystem.”

Emerge (U.K.) reimagines the impact of technological innovation through an experimentation lab that is at the convergence of technology, impact and finance.


“We're incredibly excited to bring our fearless, impact-forward experimentation to Mastercard's Start Path program,” says Lucia Gallardo, founder of Emerge. “Together, we're looking to explore new precedents in how technology, impact, finance, creativity, and experience converge.”

LI.FI (Germany) simplifies the process of moving assets, offering the ability to complete complex multi-chain transactions with one click.


"When I entered the space, I felt the very same excitement that I felt when I learned to code,” says Philipp Zentner, CEO of LI.FI. “There’s an endless amount of new opportunities to connect humanity globally on another level.”

Lirium AG (Liechtenstein) enables banks and digital wallets to give their customers the ability to buy, sell, receive, send and store digital assets through their own platforms.


“We strongly believe that participation in Start Path empowers our plans to be ready for the adoption of blockchain technology — providing simple, fast and safe channels to support the next wave of adoption," says Martin Kopacz, co-founder and COO of Lirium AG

Polytrade (Dubai) Uses blockchain technology to tokenize real-world financial assets and make lending, borrowing, asset exchange, fractionalization and securitization seamless.


"Polytrade was born out of a realization that core challenges in our current financial systems can be solved using blockchain, leading to not just better capital allocation but meaningful last-mile impact,” says Piyush Gupta, founder and CEO of Polytrade. “As our products mature, we are seeing the applicability of our standards across multiple asset classes.”

“We always take a collaborative approach to innovation, building with a developer-first mindset to make it easy for fintechs to embrace the vast utility and scale of our network,” said Raj Dhamodharan, executive vice president, Blockchain and Digital Assets at Mastercard. “Our network is a bridge that connects ecosystems to quickly power new, relevant solutions and create efficiencies in existing digital commerce experiences.” 

The companies selected for Start Path have a demonstrated product-market fit focused on digital assets, crypto payments, scalable blockchain solutions, NFTs or loyalty use cases, and have raised seed or Series A capital. Through the program, we’re making it easier for fintechs and enterprises to use blockchain technology, simplifying the deployment experience and making the technology more accessible.   

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

Media contact: Jen Langione, Mastercard Global Communications, (917) 408-2941,