27 January, 2023

Visa Strengthens Its Support To Local Fintech Ecosystem By Expanding Visa Innovation Program Europe To Malta


The Visa Innovation Program Europe, which opens its first edition in Malta from March 2023, will be launched in partnership with Crowdpolicy and Eleven Ventures

Visa, a global leader in digital payments, announced the extension of the Visa Innovation Program Europe in Malta. This fintech pilot-centered collaboration platform, today live in Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and Spain, and in which Visa has been partnering since 2018 with early-stage venture capital fund Eleven Ventures, and open innovation accelerators Crowdpolicy and Hackquarters, is designed to help early stage Fintech scale up and supercharge their value proposition, while engaging with Visa, its clients, and partners.

With Open Call expected to launch in March 2023, Fintech in Malta will be able to submit their applications to be part of the 2023 edition cohort. The awarded candidates will become part of the Visa Innovation Program Europe, which during the following 6-months will support their growth, providing them with access to training resources, mentoring and investors. They will also be able to tap into a network of proof-of-concept partners such as banks, e-money institutions, merchants, and other high-profile organizations, to test and validate their propositions and reach the commercialization stage faster.

Sevi Vassileva, VP and General Manager for Malta, Cyprus, Malta and Israel at Visa said: “Visa is constantly innovating to make new and future payment methods and channels better and more accessible to all. This is what guides our approach to collaborating with Fintech to create new ways to pay and be paid. We are excited to bring this program to Malta with our partners, demonstrating our continued investment in fintech talent in the markets where we operate the program, and beyond. I’m incredibly proud to see how much the Visa Innovation program has and continues to expand as an established regional program across Europe and looking forward to welcome the Fintech in Malta interested in becoming part of it.”

Michael Psalidas, Managing Director at Crowdpolicy said: “Visa Innovation Program Europe continues to pave the way for the development of partnerships between startups, Visa and financial institutions, giving the chance in more fintech companies with the launch in Malta to flourish in a dynamic ecosystem with exciting opportunities and potential for fintech entrepreneurs“.

Visa Innovation Program Europe in data
Since its inception in 2018, the Visa Innovation Program, Europe has opened hubs in Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey and Spain, evaluating over 900 applicants in 62 countries with 72 selected Fintechs. They generated 70 proofs of concept thanks in large part to Visa network partner introductions. To date the Program has delivered a total of 1.300 hours of mentoring and the participating Fintech have entered 84 rounds of investment, receiving over 350 million euros in funding. One of the first participants in the Program, Payhawk, became a unicorn last year.

Bea Larregle, Regional Managing Director Southern Europe at Visa: “We are determined to support collaborative innovation, which is a key enabler to build more inclusive economies and to unlock economic growth. After the great results achieved by the program in Spain, Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria, I am glad to see it expanding further with Malta, so we can discover and empower more local fintech talents that will shape the future of payments and commerce in Europe”.

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