Kenyan startup, Mookh Africa, has emerged overall winners of the maiden edition of Visa’s Sub-Saharan Africa Everywhere Initiative. The digital payments platform emerged victorious from the competition having seen off competition from 11 other startups who competed in the finals to clinch the grand prize of USD 50 K. As part of the spoils of victory, the Kenyan startup is also being rewarded with the opportunity to collaborate with Visa in the further development of its payment solutions.
The inaugural edition of Visa’s Everywhere Initiative featured a number of African startups drawn out of an initial pool of over 200 entries. Targeted at furthering the growth of African enterprises, the initiative is a global innovation program that is geared towards motivating the development of innovative payment solutions; “the next big things” in payments. The program does the job of unearthing some of the most promising payment solutions on offer from African startups by tasking participants to come up with novel solutions for merchant payments, social business payments, and financial inclusion.
The eventual winners, Mookh Africa, was founded in 2015, and it seems to be making significant headway with its product which is a multi-channel payment gateway that enables sellers to embed their online stores on social media platforms.
In the aftermath of the victory, Eric Thimba, Mookh Africa’s CEO and co-founder revealed his delight at the development in an exclusive interview with WeeTracker. When questioned as regards how they entered into the competition, the CEO revealed; “We got contacted via email about the competition and we applied online. I believe a separate agency was used to inform the startup ecosystem here of the event. So emails were sent to a number of different startups to participate.”
He also gave indications that the prize money will be utilized in facilitating Mookh Africa’s operations. “As a startup, cash flow is always critical so the funds will go into doing what we do best which is helping sellers get online. So, essentially the funds will be invested in the continued improvement of our platform,” he further stated.
WeeTracker also gathered from the CEO that the platform has processed over USD 1 Mn in transactions since coming into existence in 2015, en route to bagging the recent partnership with Visa, which has always been central to its agenda. “We did not come to the event with the mindset of seeing off any competition. The other startups that competed presented incredible solutions and for them to be here out of 230+ applications is a feat in itself. We participated with a mindset of wanting to partner with Visa to solve key business challenges that we have identified. So we had no strategy to beat other startups. Our goal was to secure a partnership with Visa, which we did,” the CEO added.