Embracing FinTech Innovators - Visa Innovation Program Spain Edition Demo Day

January 25, 2023

The Visa Innovation Program Spain Edition is a platform that allows fintech companies to quickly address future payment and commerce issues, improve their products, and develop innovative solutions for Visa's clients and partners. The program appeals to Fintech, targeting to unlock new payment flows, advance next-gen payment experiences, empower SMEs, and build a brighter and sustainable future. The first batch of Visa Innovation Program Spain Edition opened the applications in May.

During the first edition of Visa Innovation Program in the Spanish market, 116 fintech applied to the program, with 6 finalist fintech getting 36 hours of mentoring from Visa, while one of them, Divilo, managed to close a 3M€ round of funding in that period.

Outside of Spain, since its inception in 2018, the Visa Innovation program has completed four editions in Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey. The program has had more than 900 applicants, 72 selected fintech, and 68 POCs derived from Visa network partner presentations. The Visa Innovation Program has also provided 1,300 hours of mentoring, and the participating fintech have entered into 84 rounds of financing, receiving funds worth more than 350 million euros. One of the first participants in the show, Payhawk from Bulgaria, became a unicorn in 2022.

On 17 January 2023, Tuesday, at Downtown, Madrid, the fintech had the chance to showcase how they leveraged their products and services through the program and their potential to disrupt the payments ecosystem during the demo day event. The Demo Day brought together all program stakeholders for an exclusive event and we expect that Visa Innovation Program companies with numerous partnership, business, and investment opportunities.

The Demo Day started with a welcoming speech by Kaan Akın, Founder and CEO, Hackquarters. “The first batch of the Visa Innovation Program in Spain revealed the country's fintech ecosystem's untapped potential and appetite for innovation. The program's continuation for a second year demonstrates Visa's commitment to assisting local fintech and potential partners who can benefit from these cutting-edge technologies. We are excited to welcome the second edition of this program at Hackquarters, as we intend to continue promoting fintech growth both locally and globally, as well as attract the best investors, mentors, and partners to increase the program's impact in the upcoming year.”

After Kaan, Eduardo Prieto, Country Manager, Spain, Visa, told us about Visa’s vision of being a Network of networks: More than technology. "The announcement of the second edition of the Visa Innovation Program in Spain is a clear example that, in a current moment of uncertainty, we continue to bet on fintech since we think they play a crucial role in developing the digital payments sector both nationally and internationally. I am very proud to continue supporting the local fintech ecosystem in an open network framework as part of our strategy of being a network of networks.”

Later on, Mateo Rizzi presented us with Ingredients for a Healthy and Productive Fintech Eco-system (Incremental Innovation): more on government regulations, startup community catalyzation, finance, talent, concept management, and integration with day-to-day business.

Another interesting session was Story of a Unicorn at Visa Innovation Program: Payhawk. Eva Ruiz Cendon, Head of Fintech Southern Europe had a fireside chat with Commercial Director Spain at Payhawk of Payhawk, Iñigo Aguirre, the alumni of the Visa Innovation Program. Iñigo talked about how collaborating with a global company such as Visa changed the product and the future of Payhawk.

Then, fintech of first batch in Visa Innovation Program Spain Edition pitched their solutions.

Here are the 6  Fintech and their one-lines:

Coinscrap Finance:
Coinscrap Finance provides financial planning micro-services to banks and insurance companies, extending their value proposal mainly to the millennial public and generating new business models from analyzing their users’ data.

Currency Alliance:
Currency Alliance operates the global loyalty marketplace for brands to connect and collaborate in using loyalty points/miles to incentivize customer behavior.

Divilo is a Spanish Neobank offering a 360º solution in payments, acceptance, and accounting tools for companies and sole traders.

Goparity is an impact finance and investment app that allows people and companies to use their money for good.

October is the leading lending platform for SMEs in Continental Europe; it has developed a B2B SaaS offering for Embedded Finance and Digital lending.

Parcela Já:
Parcela Já is a Fintech company focused on installment payments, free of charge, for end customers. No bureaucracy. No waiting time.

After the pitches, Kaan Akın moderated the Hidden Potential of Fintech Investment panel with speaker Gonzalo Tradacete Gallart, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer, Faraday Venture Partners, and Dhiren Chatlani, Director, Actyus Fintech Fund, about the key trends Venture Capital sees emerging for the fintech industry.

Lastly, The Corporate Perspective On Fintech Collaboration panel, moderated by Rodrigo Garcia de la Cruz, Founder, Finnovating, featured speakers from Kutxabank, Prosegur Cash, Unicaja Banco and provided valuable insights into the role of collaboration in driving innovation and growth in the fintech industry, their perspective on the future of the sector, and their approach to collaborating with Visa Innovation Program fintech. They also explored the potential benefits of collaboration between traditional financial institutions and fintech companies. 

The Demo Day event of the Visa Innovation Program Spain Edition came to a close with closing remarks from Eva Ruiz Cendon, Southern Europe Head of Fintech at Visa, and Jak Telyaz, Head of Business Development at Visa. They emphasized the importance of collaboration and innovation in driving growth in the fintech industry. They thanked all the participants for their contributions and for showcasing their cutting-edge products and services. They also highlighted the opportunities for partnerships, investments, and business developments that the Demo Day has brought for the fintech and Visa. They also revealed that the Visa Innovation Program would continue for the next year to support the local Fintech ecosystem in Spain and in Portugal.

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