Banking News

Mastercard selects blockchain startup for Start Path accelerator

startup accelerator

Yesterday Mastercard announced six startups selected for its Start Path fintech accelerator. Amongst the chosen startups, Brazil’s Moeda Seeds was the sole blockchain firm. The other companies are Asante Financial Services, Cledara, Jifiti, SpenDebt and Tippy.

Moeda positions itself as a blockchain payments app for social impact and sustainability. Users of its payments app Moedapay earn impact cashback credits which can be put towards future Moeda social impact projects.

It has a an online marketplace which so far has a single offering, an artisanal beer. However, when a user purchases the product, they can see where the money goes. For beer, 60% goes to the beer company, 20% goes to a local cooperative, and Moeda’s crypto coin takes a 20% cut.

Moeda is also working on the VVIDAA portal for marketing family produce and a coffee sustainability project.

As with many accelerators, Mastercard enables connections between startups and larger corporates. Each company participates in the program for six months. However, Mastercard only selects firms that have already shown product-market fit and raised investment.

Meanwhile, Mastercard is involved in various blockchain and digital currency initiatives. It recently participated in the ConsenSys $65 million funding round. Mastercard has its own blockchain protocol Provenance. But as part of the ConsenSys investment, it announced a partnership to use ConsenSys Quorum, the Ethereum blockchain technology.

The payments network launched a platform for testing central bank digital currencies (CBDC) and supported perhaps the first CBDC prepaid card issued by Island Pay in the Bahamas. It’s also a partner in the Marco Polo blockchain trade finance network.