The Last Mile Money Accelerator aims to supercharge fintech startups making an impact.
Egyptian fintech, Khazna, has been selected to compete in the inaugural edition of the Last Mile Money Accelerator, programme managed by IDEO and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
With a focus on inclusive financial technology, the four-month programme aims to supercharge startups with grant capital, world class design support from IDEO and IDEO.org, and connections to key strategic ecosystem partners.
Founded in 2019, the Cairo-based Khazna aims to cater to the 20 million underbanked Egyptians by providing online financial services for users who do not regularly have access to formal banking services, but have access to smartphones. Their main concept is to give users the opportunity to pay, save, borrow and insure, in many cases, eliminating the need to physically go to the bank.
The startup’s first product was Khazna HR, which offers a salary cash advance option for employers that can be activated for employee emergencies, while earlier this year, the startup launched a first-of-its-kinds prepaid card will offer users 24/7 access to their wages, feeding into the ultimate goal of moving towards a cashless society.
“Cash-in cash-out agents play a critical role in bringing the promise of the digital economy closer to those who need it the most, yet the current models we see today often fall short of delivering on that promise, especially to those in rural areas in emerging markets. There’s a clear need for more innovation in this space, and that’s why we’re excited to support this cohort of world-class entrepreneurs operating across more than 10 countries,” said Dave Kim, programme officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.