Nigeria’s ThriveAgric becomes 2022 Global Winner of Visa Everywhere Initiative

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ThriveAgric, an innovative Nigerian start-up that is promoting the use of technology to transform the payments landscape for the agricultural sector, was crowned winner of the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) – a global open innovation program and competition for start-ups and fintech companies.

Visa Everywhere Initiative is an open innovation program that helps start-ups unlock new opportunities and gives them a global platform to demonstrate their ground-breaking solutions.

The program first launched in the U.S. in 2015 and quickly expanded into a global program. To date, nearly 8,500 start-ups have participated, and have collectively raised more than $16 billion in funding. 

Winner of Visa Everywhere Initiative

Visa Everywhere Initiative 2022

The global finale currently ongoing in Qatar amidst the FIFA World Cup 2022, was preceded by a year-long competition that saw entrepreneurs across the world compete in regional editions before advancing to the final stage. 

“This year we have seen more than 4,000 fintechs participate in the global Visa Everywhere Initiative, including a record 1,130 applications from Central Europe, Middle East and Africa”

Andrew Torre, Regional President for CEMEA, Visa.

“A new fintech generation is transforming the way consumers and businesses make payments, making it easier for more people to access and move money when they need it. We congratulate ThriveAgric and all the winners in this year’s competition, and we look forward to continue partnering with fintechs to solve the payments challenges of tomorrow,” Andrew Torre continued.

Ruben Salazar, Senior Vice President and global head of Visa Direct, said: “As we strive to create more ways for people, SMBs, and larger businesses to participate in the global economy, the Visa Everywhere Initiative competition provides a unique insight on how fintech are helping shape the future of money movement and expanding access to underserved markets and regions. Today’s Visa Direct Award winner will have access to modern tools and teams that help enable global money movement to billions of endpoints worldwide.”

 Visa Everywhere Initiative

The event brought together Visa and industry thought leaders and a previous Visa Everywhere Initiative winner to celebrate the innovative fintechs and their solutions. Wade Arnold, founder and CEO of Moov Financial and 2021 Visa Everywhere Initiative North America and Global winner returned as a judge, with special guest Visa’s Dr Saeeda Jaffar, Group Country Manager for the GCC region hosting a fireside chat with football legend Marcel Desailly. 

Read more: American Fintech ZELF launches anonymous Visa debit card with crypto recharge

Ayo Arikawe, Co-Founder of ThriveAgric and winner of the CEMEA leg of the competition, delivered his pitch on how ThriveAgric is enabling strategic partnerships with financial institutions and agriculture value chain players to provide smallholders with financial services, agriculture inputs, extension, market linkage, e-commerce, and payment services.

“As a central part of the Nigerian economy, agriculture is the livelihood and main source of income for many of our people. The hard work we’ve put into ThriveAgric will ensure that technology is leveraged to empower farmers across the country. To not only win the CEMEA regional VEI competition but also pitch at the final here in Qatar gives me great confidence in our ability to scale our solutions and continue to enrich farmers’ lives,”

Ayo Arikawe.

Award Winners:

  • 1st place and Visa Direct prize: ThriveAgric – an agric-tech organisation providing smallholder farmers access to finance, insight and distribution from Nigeria
  • 2nd place: Zeti – a fintech enabling pay-per-use financing of sustainable transport from Europe
  • Audience Favorite: Huli – a platform that connects patients, doctors and other healthcare services from Latin America
Winner of Visa Everywhere Initiative

The global final of the Visa Everywhere Initiative was streamed live on Techcrunch and can be viewed on its website here.                                                                          

The Visa Everywhere Initiative is open to all start-ups who offer innovative solutions to the payments and commerce challenges of tomorrow. It also helps support start-ups and fintech in two ways: 

  1. As a competition, it gives them a global stage to pitch their solutions to a panel of payments experts, win prizes and gain wider attention in the sector. 
  2. As a program, it plugs start-ups into our global network of partners. This network is accessible to our Visa teams from all over the world when looking for solutions.

Read more: A complete guide to getting a Tech nation visa (UK Global Talent visa)


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