Five startups awarded $150,000 to help tackle financial exclusion

The Finance Forward Europe 2020 accelerator - backed by PayPal, MetLife Foundation and Village Capital - has unveiled the five winners of $150,000 funding.

The 10 participating tech ventures from across Europe are aiming to tackle challenges that face financially excluded groups, with these becoming more difficult during the ongoing pandemic.

Credit Stretcher and Finclude were selected by their peers in the programme to each receive $45,000 grants from the MetLife Foundation.

CreditStretcher of Copenhagen is building a solution that will enable small businesses to grow by providing “fair access” to credit through up-front financing on invoices, and extending interest-free credit for up to 90 days to buyers.

Finclude of Dublin provides a pan-European credit-worthiness and affordability scores, enabling financial institutions and individuals to universally assess the financial standing of a user, by utilising transactional behaviour analysis and machine learning on top of open banking APIs.

Three further companies - Vested Impact, Libeen Smart Housing and Pipit - will receive $20,000 in funding from the MetLife Foundation.

Vested of London is an impact investing platform that employs a proprietary algorithm to assess and track the impact of an investment, to enable people to invest their money in companies and assets that have the biggest positive impact on society.

Libeen of Madrid enables individuals, regardless of income level or savings, to access affordable home ownership through a simple, smart and flexible rent-to-buy lease format, while Pipit of Galway enables migrants living in Europe to send cross-border payments in cash to pay family members’ bills more affordably.

Carmina Dragomir, general manager of MetLife Romania, said: “COVID-19 has made us reassess and rethink so much, to me, innovation means reinvention which makes this the perfect time to be supporting the ten startups from Finance Forward Europe, who are developing innovative solutions to solve financial health challenges in Europe.”

Finance Forward Europe 2020 was a five-week virtual venture development programme managed by Village Capital in collaboration with MetLife Foundation and PayPal. Credit Stretcher and Finclude were ranked “most investment ready”.

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