Dive Brief:

  • Mastercard has selected seven new startups from around the world as part of its Start Path Emerging Fintech accelerator program, the card network said Wednesday. The card network doesn’t invest in the startups as part of the program, a spokesperson for the card network said.
  • The company chose Bicycle, HyprEdge, Kipp, Nippy, Reflaunt, Volo Health and Wowzi to participate in its latest cohort. As part of the initiative, Mastercard seeks startups in the banking, payments and commerce sectors that have raised seed funding, according to the press release.
  • So far, Mastercard has supported about 400 startups across 54 countries, some of which “have gone on to enter public markets, achieve unicorn status, and establish extended commercial engagements with Mastercard and its customers,” the Mastercard spokesperson said by email.

Dive Insight:

The companies chosen as this year’s Start Path participants span the marketing, fashion, healthcare and cybersecurity industries. Of the seven firms picked for the program, two are based in the U.S.: Bicycle, a data analytics company, and HyprEdge, a cybersecurity automation firm. 

“The startups joining Start Path will bring fresh perspectives and cutting-edge solutions to the forefront, fostering a culture of mutual growth and learning,” Mastercard said in a statement. “The startups will have the opportunity to access a combination of hands-on mentoring, innovation opportunities and engagement with Mastercard’s global network of banks, merchants, partners and digital players to help scale their business.”

In the past, Purchase, New York-based Mastercard has paid particular attention to founders with unique perspectives or expertise. In 2022, the company highlighted its specialized programs focusing on the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, as well as founders from underrepresented backgrounds.

Similarly, Mastercard’s larger network rival, Visa, has sought out payment startups with founders from diverse backgrounds. Earlier this year, Visa chose 21 startups to take part in its fintech accelerator for companies founded by people of color, women, and LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs. That San Francisco-based company provided the cohort of startups with access to its curriculum, mentors, industry experts and investors.


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