From ‘social rounding’ to smart cars, 12 new startups join Mastercard Start Path

May 6, 2020 | By Jen Langione

The award-winning startup engagement program builds powerful connections and scales innovation

In the face of a changing economic landscape and global uncertainties due to COVID-19, innovation is more important than ever. We continue to seek partners that will become invaluable assets to an ecosystem focused on doing well and doing good. And today we are thrilled to officially welcome 12 bright startups with global ambitions to the award-winning Mastercard Start Path program, from a financial literacy platform for kids to a data-driven approach to delivering credit to the underserved.

Founders of Start Path companies launch businesses for many reasons, whether it’s a pure desire to lead, to provide value to customers or to democratize finance. “Today fintech leaders in particular are refocusing on the reasons they started their business in the first place,” said Amy Neale, Senior Vice President, Start Path and Fintech, Mastercard, at a webinar Tuesday. Plug & Play, a platform that connects technology startups and corporations, hosted the session focused on the impact of COVID-19 on corporate-startup partnerships.

“This global pandemic has strengthened collaboration between corporates and startups, and we look forward to co-creating with our newest Start Path members and providing them access to a powerful network and tailored programming on their mission to scale.”

At a recent virtual kick-off event, top startups from around the world joined Start Path, a growing network in which companies have gone on to raise $2.6 billion in capital and partner with the largest banks, merchants and well-known organizations. Mastercard invites later-stage startups to participate in the six-month virtual program, providing opportunities to scale and secure strategic investments. Start Path is one of many renowned programs in Mastercard Accelerate, which provides a simple, single entry point to Mastercard’s wide fintech portfolio and access to everything startups need to grow quickly.

Start Path evaluates more than 1,500 applications per year and selects about 40 companies that offer the most promising technologies and demonstrate a readiness to scale. Since its founding in 2014, Start Path has provided 230 startups with operational support and commercial engagements within the Mastercard ecosystem.

The following later-stage technology companies have been selected to join the network:

  • Hoolah is the leading omnichannel buy now, pay later payment company in Asia.

  • mx51 empowers banks to grow merchant relationships through innovative multi-channel payment capabilities and value-added solutions that are delivered through a bank-grade, cloud-based integration platform.

  • ryd is a connected car platform that enables consumers to pay directly via the ryd app at the pump or in the car, eliminating the need to go inside the station.

  • SmartPesa develops payments and agency banking solutions for merchants and banks across the globe, taking care of the tech so they don’t have to.

  • Thought Machine builds core banking technology that enables banks to deploy modern, cloud-native systems and move away from the legacy platforms that plague the banking industry. 

  • Ukheshe's technology platform helps banks and telcos provide informal MSMEs frictionless and affordable digital banking services.

  • Worldcoo is a fundraising platform that helps NGOs/charities through committed retailers that implement Worldcoo's rounding-up solution at POS – rounding up the total amount of purchases for a social cause when paying with a card.

  • Enveil protects Data in Use to enable secure search, sharing and collaboration, allowing enterprises to securely and privately use third-party data without risk of exposure.

  • Goalsetter is a savings and financial literacy platform that empowers parents to save money easily, kids to learn money early and teens to spend money responsibly.

  • Zinobe takes a data-driven approach to delivering credit to underserved consumers and small businesses.

  • ConnexPay offers a revolutionary way to minimize risks and reduce costs in accepting and issuing payments for online travel companies and e-commerce providers.

  • Mylo helps users achieve their financial goals by automatically rounding up their everyday purchases and investing the spare change in a fully managed investment portfolio.

With innovation at the core of its products and services, Mastercard aligns its value-driven approach to the companies it selects for the program. Start Path specializes in building opportunities for startups and corporates and partnering to scale cutting-edge technologies that are transforming the future of commerce.

Looking to join our network of innovators? Apply to Start Path here.

Jen Langione, Manager, Communications, Product & Engineering