The Fincluders Startup Challenge has successfully concluded and showcased how innovative startups can harness the power of technology to expand financial inclusion and increase access to finance for the underbanked.

The main sponsor and organizer of the event the Development Facility of the European Fund for Southeast Europe congratulates the winners of the pitching competition and expresses its gratitude to everyone that took part in this great event and contributed to its success.

First Prize

Turkish startup Tarfin won the pitching event and the EUR 15,000 top prize for its idea for connecting retailers’ open credit sales from small-scale farmers with the lending capability of financial institutions. Retailers that use Tarfin minimize their receivable risks and have easy access to a cheap source of working capital. Tarfin also helps member retailers better manage receivable risk with the country’s first farmer credit risk scoring system.

The award was sponsored by the Development Facility of the European Fund for Southeast Europe and was handed by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of EFSE Mr. Christoph Tiskens.

Second Prize

Kenya-based FarmDrive was awarded second place and EUR 10,000 sponsored by Finance in Motion for its idea for connecting small farmers with financial institutions with the help of mobile phone technology, alternative data sets, and sophisticated data analysis.

The second prize of EUR 10,000 was sponsored by Finance in Motion and handed over by Managing Director Elvira Lefting and Uwe Schober Head of Equity Investments.

Third Prize

Quotanda, whose lending service platform enables educational organizations to make their services more affordable, secured third place and received EUR 5,000. Quotanda democratizes access to education and makes it globally affordable, by connecting thousands of lenders and schools to millions of students.

The third prize was sponsored by PwC Strategy& who also acted as mentors on the first day of the event.

There is more… the special award for a promising startup originating from the EFSE region goes to:

Optio Al from Georgia, developed a personal finance assistant based on an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot. Optio AI is making money management efficient and affordable for everyone, with any level of financial literacy and accounting background.

The special prize was sponsored by the Development Facility of EFSE and was handed by the chairman of the Development Facility Comittee Mr. Markus Aschendorf and Nino Vardiashvili, Senior Investment Officer at Finance in Motion’s Georgian office.

An honory mention goes to Taqanu Bank which is about to set up a digital bank for refugees, enabling them to create an economic identity