Thrive Agric, a Nigerian startup is the 2022 winner of the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) – a global open innovation program and competition for start-ups and fintech companies. Thrive Agric is a fintech providing smallholder farmers access to finance, insights, and distribution.
This year’s event is happening alongside the FIFA world cup in Qatar. The competition was a year-long event that saw over 4,000 entrepreneurs across the world entering innovative ideas to solve the payment challenges of tomorrow.
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 hosting a fireside chat with football legend Marcel Desailly.
Ayo Arikawe, Co-Founder of ThriveAgric and now the winner of both the global and the CEMEA competitions delivered his pitch on how his fintech 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,” said Ayo Arikawe.
Other finalists for this year’s competition include
- Christine De Wendel of Sunday (North America) – The fastest digital payment for restaurants and the industry’s future
- Alejandro Vega of Huli (Latin America) – Platform that connects patients, doctors, and other healthcare services
- Mriganka Pattnaik of Mriganka Pattnaik of Merkle Science (AP) – Merkle Science is the next-generation predictive Web3 risk & intelligence platform
- Dan Saunders of Zeti (Europe) – Fintech enabling pay-per-use financing of sustainable transport
Monetary prizes won at the event :
- ThriveAgric Overall Winner took the prize of USD 100,000 as well as another USD 20,000 as the visa direct winner
- Zeti came second place and took the prize of USD 20,000
- Huli came third place and won USD 10,000 with an additional USD 20,000 as the audience favorite startup
Andrew Torre, regional president for CEMEA at Visa said: “Fintechs and payments innovators are catalyzing how we make payments. They are transforming the way consumers and businesses make payments, making it easier for more people to access the money they need – when they need it.”
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 VEI competition provides a unique insight into how fintech’s 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.