Ghanaian startup, Nokwary Technologies emerges winner at Ecobank Fin-tech Challenge 2020, taking home $10,000.
Ghanaian startup, Nokwary Technologies has emerged winner at this year’s Ecobank Fintech Challenge 2020, taking home US$10,000 in prize money.
This follws the Ecobank Fintech Challenge which was open to submissions from all startups and developers in Africa.
Thereafter, 10 finalists were selected from a pool of over 600 applicants. All finalists have been inducted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship, a one-year programme which gives startups the opportunity to explore opportunities for commercial partnerships with the bank.
After a virtual pitch event last week, three finalists took home cash prizes.
This year’s overall winner, Nokwary is artificial intelligence (AI) software firm that allows users to carry out transactions in their own language using popular social media channels like WhatsApp. Nokwary won US$10,000 in prize money from Ecobank.
The firsr runner up was South African startup, Ukheshe, a card acceptance platform that allows unbanked merchants to accept and make digital payments. Ukheshe took home a cash prize of US$7,000.
The second runner up and third position went to South African startup, Growth Factor which provides trade financing solutions designed for MSMEs. Growth Factor won a cash prize of US$5,000.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ecobank Group, Ade Ayeyemi said, “The quality of the products and pitches we saw in the final this year were amazing. Clearly it is evident that banking in Africa is moving onto a new dimension with these fintechs leading the way. That is why we are so proud to have had them in this year’s competition and are excited to engage further with them over the next year. It is our expectation that we will build a few lasting partnerships which will help improve the lives of Africans all over the continent,” he said.
Also, CEO and co-founder of Nokwary, Dennis Asamoah Owusu said, “Our company is rather young and to be recognised like this on such a stage was really exciting as well as a validation for our focus on creating inclusive technology right from the start. It is also very encouraging to note that a major bank like Ecobank places such a premium on inclusion and is willing to back and promote innovative and cutting-edge technologies towards that purpose. We are looking to work together with Ecobank to bring an AI-first digital banking platform over WhatsApp, as well as other innovative solutions to Ecobank’s customers.”
With this fintech challenge, Ecobank aims to find lasting solutions to Africa’s pressing banking issues.