Nigerian fintech startup, Nearpays has emerged as the overall winner of the highly coveted Fintech and Blockchain Technology category at the Gitex Africa tech conference. The startup, which provides a comprehensive financial payment platform, clinched the $10,000 prize by outperforming the fierce competition in the Supernova Challenge held in Marrakech, Morocco last Friday.
Following the win, Victor Daniyan, the founder and CEO of Nearpays in a chat with journalists expressed his excitement about the opportunities this victory would bring to startups in Nigeria. He emphasized that the achievement showcased their potential to reach the pinnacle of success with the right platform. Daniyan acknowledged that winning the competition signaled the need for even more hard work.
The Gitex Africa Supernova Challenge, renowned as the largest pitch competition in Africa, offered a total cash prize of $100,000 across various categories such as Cybersecurity, AI and Digital Cities, Health Tech, and Sustainability and Agritech.
Reflecting on the intense competition, Daniyan emphasized the importance of mentorship for Nigerian startups to reach their full potential. He believed that with proper guidance, they could excel in their endeavors. Daniyan himself arrived at the conference with the determination to secure victory, having extensively researched the panel members and tailored his pitch to suit their specific interests and backgrounds.
Nearpays plans to utilize the prize money to acquire a payment card system license, which comes with a price tag of approximately $15,000. The company simplifies online payments, adhering to the principle that transactions should be seamless. Nearpays has revolutionized the user experience by returning control of point-of-sale transactions to the customers, eliminating additional bank charges.
The event, held at the purpose-built super venue in Marrakech, witnessed the participation of over 900 major tech companies, government entities, startups, and attendees from more than 100 countries across ten halls and 45,000 square meters of exhibition space.
The CEO highlighted the significance of the platform provided by Gitex Africa, expressing his excitement about the immense opportunity it presented. He quoted Google's projection that Africa would be home to the next billions of tech platform users worldwide. He believed that the event offered a chance for startups to connect, find mentors, and showcase their products to a global audience.
The competition equally enabled Daniyan to establish valuable connections with experienced mentors. As a young entrepreneur, he recognized the importance of learning from those who had gone before him. Additionally, he hoped that the publicity garnered from the win would shed light on the thriving startup ecosystem in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, which often takes a backseat to Lagos. By showcasing Abuja's potential and technological advancements, Daniyan aimed to inspire more start-ups and demonstrate the vast opportunities available in the city.
Nearpays' victory at Gitex Africa has not only brought recognition and financial reward but also provided a platform for the startup to flourish. With a focus on innovation and a commitment to seamless financial transactions, Nearpays aims to make a lasting impact in the fintech industry, both in Nigeria and beyond.