Remittances – RemTech solutions needed around the world
How can remittances be done better, faster and cheaper? The RemTech Pilot Accelerator, conducted by TechQuartier on behalf of the Programme Migration & Diaspora of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ GmbH), commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), asked this question to startups based in countries around the world. Ideally, the participants’ business models should be based on innovative, technology-based solutions and contribute to reducing costs and improving the development-oriented use of remittances.
Remittances are a lifeline to workers’ families back home, providing necessities such as food, medical care and education. Yet transfer fees are high, diverting much-needed funds. Additionally, there are opportunities to leverage remittances to support long-term development and financial inclusion via investments, savings and entrepreneurship. That’s where RemTech and FinTech innovators have a crucial role to play.
About 40 startups from 20 countries applied to participate in the Pilot-Accelerator. Twelve of them had the opportunity to participate in an intensive startup development programme that took place from September 27 to October 1, 2021. Programme highlights included one-on-one pitch coaching sessions, keynotes, round tables, educational sessions by experts in various fields, and virtual speed dating sessions with potential investors and business partners. The finale of the programme was the Demo Day, which took place on October 1. Here, the twelve startups presented their RemTech solutions in five-minute pitches in front of five international jury members.
First place went to the startup FriendlyTransfer, which thus secured prize money of 4,000 cEuro. Second place was dua Pay (1,500 cEuro) and third place went to Flow (1,000 cEuro).
The three winners of the RemTech Demo Day received the prize money in cEuro from celo, the main sponsor of the project.
“We participated because it’s a challenge fully focused on remittances innovation. We knew we would be showcasing FriendlyTransfer to an audience that could truly understand the impact our platform is having at significantly reducing the cost and time involved in international transfers,” said Gidany Cobo, Co-Founder & CEO of FriendlyTransfer, a startup from Ecuador that allows friends around the world, through a social platform, to connect and agree to exchange money locally.