After almost a year-long virtual run, the Seedstars World Competition 2020/21 announced this year’s Global Winner, Malaysian FinTech startup Finology, a startup that enables seamless access to financial products via the use of proprietary technology and digital distribution channels. Finology will receive the grand prize of $500K in equity investment.
Watch the Grand Finale replay here:
Hosted by Seedstars, the Swiss-based private group with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets, and The Next Web, one of the most important media and event creators in the startup world, the event gathered 25K registrations of viewers who wanted to tune in.
Since 2013, the Seedstars World Competition has grown to be the largest startup competition in emerging markets, but the unique pandemic situation led to the online transformation of this year’s edition.
Virtually traveling to 94 startup ecosystems across Latin America, Africa, Middle East, Eastern and Central Europe and Asia, the Seedstars team had narrowed down over 5,000 startup applications to the top five startup finalists in the running for the grand prize of up to $500,000 USD in investment.
Each startup took turns pitching to jury members Salman T. Jaffrey, CIO of Wa’ed Ventures, Shannon Kala-yana-mitr, CEO of 5G Catalyst Technologies and Advisor at Gobi partners, and Charlie Graham-Brown, CIO of Seedstars. The five finalists of this year’s competition included startups from five regions:
- Fulfillment Bridge (Tunisia)- A cloud based global e-commerce logistics platform offering warehousing in 4 continents, fulfillment, shipping, return management and more.
- Finology (Malaysia)- Finology enables seamless access to financial products via the use of our technology & ready digital distribution channels.
- Pegasi (Venezuela)- Makes healthcare information accessible, clear and useful for patients, physicians and service providers in the developing world.
- IMAN (Uzbekistan)- A marketplace that brings together merchants, shoppers, and investors at the point of sale using the principles of Islamic finance.
- Ladda (Nigeria)- A startup democratizing access to investment for retail investors backed up by financial literacy.
After deliberation, Finology emerged as this year’s Global Winner. Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Seedstars Alisée de Tonnac shared, “Finology showed us a lot of promise in their mission to bridge together financial institutions and individuals by making financial products accessible for everyone.
The Seedstars team believes that they will effectively help lead the way forward in the ever increasing digitization of the financial sector. A big congratulations from Seedstars to the Finology team!”
Finology CEO Jared Lim expressed his excitement on their team’s win, “We’re all about using technology to deliver financial services to people in ways that are more meaningful to their lives.
We look forward to rolling out more product offerings in Emerging Asia that have been designed around a seamless delivery experience.”
The Grand Finale broadcast was hosted by Seedstars Co-CEOs Alisée de Tonnac and Pierre-Alain Masson as well as Editor of Growth Quarters by TNW, Már Másson Maack.
The event also included a panel discussion on 21st Century Education for 21st Century Skills featuring insights from Nicolas Sadirac, co-founder of 01-Edu, Sunita Grote from UNICEF Ventures and Seedstars’ Pierre-Alain Masson.
Other prizes were awarded to the innovative startups tackling different sectors:
- The EdTech Award by HEG Fribourg was won by Hossam Taher and his team at Orcas
- The ICT Accessibility Prize by the Qatar Assistive Technology Center (MADA) has been awarded to Tinkerbell Labs and their founders Sanskriti Dawle and Aman Srivastava
- The Women Entrepreneur Prize has been awarded to Olga Kitaina, CEO and founder of the Russian based startup Alter
- The Climate Action Prize was won by David Blazevski, CEO of MayMy Apple
- The Childhood Development Prize went to the Syrian startup Alphazed and their founder Mohammed Shaker
The Seedstars World Competition 2020/21 was made possible with the Canton of VAUD and the support of the School of Management Fribourg (HEG-FR), Presence Switzerland as well as the Qatar Assistive Technology Center (MADA), who staunch supporters and believers in the power of innovation and entrepreneurship.