Sempo, the notable fintech startup firm has earned itself the top prize at Startup Victoria and Giant Leap’s Impact Pitch Night for its blockchain-centered ecosystem focused on financially connecting developing countries amongst themselves and with the global economy.
The competition took place the last week in Melbourne and showcased four high-growth profit-for-purpose business ventures offering social or environmental revolution. The participants were subjected to a panel of judges and a packed out audience with standing room only.
Sempo spearheads’ battled out with three other startups in the competition. The firm got a whopping prize package of more than $90,000. The package constitutes of participation in a Landing Pads program either in Singapore, Berlin, Tel Aviv, San Francisco or Shanghai. It also includes AWS credits of $5,000, a mentoring session with the Giant Leap Fund team along with multiple other credits, vouchers, and training sessions.
During his winning pitch, Nick Williams, co-founder of Sempo stated that 1.7 billion people worldwide, which is equivalent to one-in-three adults, do not have access to a bank account.
Talking about his work in Vanuatu, a Pacific Island country in the South Pacific Ocean, Nick said that the people accepted the plastic currency happily because according to them “you could bury your money in the ground, and it wouldn’t rot.”
While describing the hardships and complexities, Nick said that in Iraq nearly 70% of Syrian refugees are compelled to sell off the aids given to them to buy basic necessities. The migrant families who send money home very often have to compromise about 20% of the total amount as overheads when they liquidate it into cash.
“Ultimately, financial exclusion disempowers people,” quoted Nick. He explained about his app by saying that “People don’t need to worry about exchange risks between some esoteric cryptocurrency price, and the price of wheat they’re used to using on a day-to-day basis.” He further clarified that by downloading the app the users will be exposed to an array of crucial facilities that they require without bearing the pain of traveling for long hours.
Brainwork of co-founders Tristan Cole and Nick Williams, Sempo works as a user-friendly wallet that allows people living in isolated communities to send and receive money easily. It employs a suite of cryptocurrencies while one digital currency acts as the global reserve.
Established in September 2018, Sempo is working in partnership with Red Cross, Oxfam, Consensus, and Coinbase.
Nick Williams revealed that the startup firm has aided more than 2,500 people accounting for nearly $60,000 transactions through the platform.