Ten startups participated in a two-day forum designed to support fintech entrepreneurs promoting financial empowerment
(Kyiv, Ukraine) - On October 31 in Kiev, MetLife Foundation and Village Capital hosted the MetLife Foundation Financial Health Forum: Ukraine, which brought together 10 Ukrainian startups working to improve financial health for low- to moderate-income people and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). At the program’s conclusion, two startups were selected to receive grants from MetLife Foundation following a pitch competition:
The Financial Health Forum was held at UNIT.City innovation park in partnership with the Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA). It was the final workshop of a two-year initiative developed by Village Capital and MetLife Foundation. Prior forums were held in Poland, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey.
The ten participating startups were selected from nearly 65 applications, and were chosen based on their potential to scale. They went through a two-day training on Village Capital’s VIRAL Framework, which focuses on scaling successful businesses and raising investment capital. The startups received guidance from mentors, investors and local sector experts, including MetLife senior leaders.
Taking the time to mentor startups in Ukraine is incredibly important. Fostering the next generation of great ideas to improve the financial health of low-income people and SMEs is important not just for Ukraine, but also Europe and beyond.
Head of Product, MetLife Ukraine
The startups represented a wide range of financial services, from alternative lending to point of sale services.
We are grateful for the grant from MetLife Foundation. The funds will be used to design financial tutorials for all Ukrainians to increase financial literacy in the country.
CEO of hotline.finance
It was a great opportunity for us to gain invaluable experience from mentors - professionals in each of their fields. I want to thank the judges as well as the other participating startups, who chose our company as the peer-selected winner. They believed in our solution, which aims to support small businesses and improve the well-being and financial literacy of Ukrainian citizens. The grant will go to helping us scale, as well as funding marketing and further automation of our platform.
CEO of MoCash
This is our first forum in Ukraine and we are incredibly impressed with the rapidly expanding local startup ecosystem here. For instance, Gitlab, Grammarly, and People.ai together have raised $267M. This should be a huge inspiration for aspiring and new tech-entrepreneurs all over Ukraine. And thanks to such ambitious projects as UNIT.City, early-stage startups now can grow even faster. We were thrilled to work with MetLife Foundation to bring together these entrepreneurs and help them fulfill their potential to scale.
Manager of VilCap Innovations
The full list of participating startups is below.
About MetLife Foundation
MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2017, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $783 million in grants and $70 million in program-related investments to organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. In 2013, the Foundation committed $200 million to financial inclusion, and our work to date has reached more than 6 million low-income individuals in 42 countries.
About Village Capital
Village Capital has served over 500 ventures worldwide, building disruptive innovations in energy, financial technology, agriculture, health, and education. Village Capital has launched 39 programs in 9 countries to-date and made 58 peer-selected investments. Participant enterprises have raised more than $118 million in follow on funding to date, creating 8,500 jobs and serving 5 million customers worldwide.
Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA) has been established in mid-2014 by the example of the European Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (InvestEurope), and currently unites more than 50 members - private equity and venture funds, accelerators, incubators, educational institutions, and non-government organisations that make significant impact on the development of Ukrainian investment market. Association promotes investment opportunities in Ukraine for foreign investment funds, conducts market research, lobbies laws for improving investment and business climate, implements Invest in Ukraine activity.
UNIT.City is Ukraine’s first innovation park. It is the location where matchless infrastructure and all-inclusive ecosystem enable high technology, innovative and creative businesses to happen and flourish.
Here the concentration of companies, startups, students, professionals and research laboratories creates conditions for businesses within the park to grow faster than outside.