The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) FinTech Conference has named Kenyan startup, Money254, as the grand prize winner of their 2022 FinTech Startup Pitch Competition.
Money254 is Kenya’s first financial services comparison platform, making it easier for users to find, compare and now, apply for financial products that match both their needs and eligibility.
By combining independent financial product research with partnerships across leading institutions, Money254 users are able to search and apply for financial products such as personal loans, business loans, and savings accounts from a variety of leading banks, microfinance institutions, and digital apps – all from the comfort of their homes.
The company was created in response to the incredible challenge of navigating financial product choice for Kenya’s 25 million financially included adults and 7.5 million business owners.
Finding accurate product information, as an individual, can be a challenging and time-consuming process especially if you have to walk into each institution’s physical branch or download different apps to find it.
And even then you might not have the complete picture. Money254 solves this problem by aggregating and independently researching all of the terms of over 300+ financial products to make sure the consumer has a complete picture.
Money254 was chosen from among 8 finalists out of a long list of over 100 fintech startups globally, all of whom joined tech leaders at the MIT FinTech Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts to make their final pitch in front of a global audience and industry-leading judges in late February.
The conference culminated in the award ceremony for the FinTech Startup Pitch Competition, with Money254 being honoured as the winner, taking home the grand prize of $30,000.
This comes in the midst of a busy period for the start-up, which just launched the ability for consumers to directly apply for a wide range of lending products, through the Money254 platform.
While accepting the prize, Money254 CEO and Co-Founder, Lorcan O Cathain, stated the recognition was a boost to the startup’s aim to help improve transparency in the financial services sector.
“At Money254 we’re building a central place for Kenyans to learn about, manage and move their money between the financial institutions and products that make the most sense for them. We’re deeply humbled to receive this honour and excited for what the future holds for the company.”
Other finalists were Zumma, a Mexico-based community-focused digital wealth management platform; MiKashBoks, a Brooklyn-based peer-to-peer saving and lending platform; OpDeFi, a platform to invest in decentralised finance; CashEx, a digital banking platform for African immigrants; Finch, a New York-based current account balance investing platform; Bitadx, a cryptocurrency trading platform and Slyde, a US-based payment platform.
The MIT FinTech Conference, one of the world’s largest student-led conferences, brings together over 1,000 participants from over 60 countries to explore innovation and disruption in financial technology.
This 8th edition featured world-renowned academics and professionals such as Paulo Passoni, a Managing Investment Partner of SoftBank’s $5Bn LatAm Fund; Snejina Zacharia, founder and CEO of Insurify, David Green, the CEO of Earnest, United States largest refinancer of student loans and Neha Narula, the Director of the Digital Currency Initiative at MIT among others.