Leja and Avallone selected as winners of Mastercard’s Lighthouse MASSIV and FINITIV programs spring 2024

May 24, 2024 | STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

The winners of the Mastercard Lighthouse FINITIV and MASSIV spring 2024 partnership programs have been announced today, during the Lighthouse award ceremony at Latitude59 in Tallinn.

Leja, a women-led fintech company that is dedicated to unlocking growth opportunities for African MSMEs, is announced the program winner of Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV spring 2024, Mastercard's partnership program to find and scale tomorrow's impact unicorns.

Avallone, a 360° KYC Solution, combining best-in-class Software that collects KYC, which responds to Bank KYC, manages legal entity data, and more, with offerings for Managed Services and Advisory Services, was selected as the regional Danish class winner and as the overall winner of the Mastercard Lighthouse FINITIV Program 2024 spring edition.

As winners, Leja and Avallone will now receive ongoing support from Mastercard and will pitch for Start Path, Mastercard’s global start-up engagement program.

Mastercard Ligthouse MASSIV
Leja enables African MSMEs to centralize all their business transactions in one place and access trade finance solutions. Leja receives the award for their global growth potential. The team was highly accountable and progressed well in the program on both networking opportunities and impact measurement.

“It is such a beautiful recognition for Leja to be awarded the Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV program. It was a great experience for us. Building connections with advisors, potential partners and fellow startups was invaluable. Behind Leja you have an amazing and passionate team dedicated to changing the narrative around African microbusinesses and making financial services more accessible and affordable for everyone. Receiving this award means a lot for all of us, as it means that we are doing something right, and we are very grateful for that,” says Morgane Kablan, co-founder of Leja.

Leja is also awarded the Impact Potential Award, for creating a real, positive, and tangible impact on the world in line with Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV's vision of helping 1 billion people live more prosperous and secure lives by 2025.

“It’s inspiring to witness the fruition of more impact scaleups, and it is crucial to celebrate and support their efforts. This year, at the mid-point of the 2030 Agenda, we have worked with many dedicated startups, supporting them in working with impact measurement and management tailored to their concrete solutions. One of these startups, and the winner of the overall MASSIV Programme and this year's Impact Potential Award, is Leja. Leja provides a finance management app to micro-businesses in Africa, which supports them in accessing affordable services from large financial institutions. With three million US dollars worth of loans already distributed to micro businesses because of Leja’s work, we look forward to seeing the lives of even more business owners and families being changed by Leja. At UNDP, we are pleased to be able once more to award and support companies like Leja who is addressing some of the roadblocks we are facing in reaching the ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda,” says Stine Kirstein Junge, Private Sector Advisor at UNDP Nordic Office.

Over three months, five companies have participated in the MASSIV program where they have attended workshops and received support from experts and advisors, including from Swedbank, UNDP, VNTRS and Synch.

MASSIV’s Spring class also included FUZED, a finalist that blends gaming with physical activity and exercise, helping young gamers build healthier habits, PANTER a finalist offering a digital platform for managing reusable packaging in the takeaway sector for businesses selling food and beverages. Vistalworks a startup that has created data intelligence products to help law enforcement agencies, online marketplaces, and regulated businesses keep ahead of illegal trade, and finally Carbon Centrum a company that is developing a platform to help people lower CO2 emissions, create Carbon IDs and get paid via NetZero green corps.

“Leja is a highly impactful company touching upon both social impact and sustainability. We are proud to have worked on the scaling journey of five impact tech start-ups this spring program. With Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV we have the vision of helping one billion people live more prosperous and secure lives by 2025. It is important to support start-ups impacting both people and planet and contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals”, says Mats Taraldsson, Head of Fintech and Impact Tech Engagement at Mastercard Nordics and Baltics.

Mastercard Lighthouse FINITIV

In the words of this spring’s selection committee, Avallone was selected as the overall FINITIV Program winner “due to their professionalism and partnership readiness that they demonstrated towards all program partners. Their product and their approach to fight financial crime gained huge interest from partner banks. The team behind this solution truly has great potential to achieve success in the upcoming years.”

“It’s a huge honor and pleasure to be awarded as the Mastercard Lighthouse FINITIV winner. The program has been extremely valuable for Avallone in terms of conversations with large tier-1 banks as partners and it has emphasized the importance of finding more innovative solutions to increase transparency between enterprises - especially related to Know Your Customer data from funds, corporates, and NGOs towards financial institutions. Being a start-up is a mix of pain, uncertainty, and constant work, so awards and recognitions like the Mastercard Lighthouse FINITIV is a very welcome energy booster to the entire team," says Anders Meinert Jorgensen, co-founder and CEO and Martin Albertsen, co-founder and CTO.

“Avallone has impressed us, both in terms of their product and their team. They address a genuine customer need by simplifying KYC reporting for companies. As a bank, we recognize the immense importance of this. The founders possess a robust background and deep understanding of the domain, effectively presenting a platform that benefits both companies and banks. Moreover, they maintain a humble and approachable demeanor, making discussions with them easy. Our interactions with Avallone have left a positive impression on both our KYC experts, and our partnership and innovation team at DNB”, says Erlend Nitter-Hauge, Head of Fintech partnerships, DNB.

The Mastercard Lighthouse FINITIV program runs over a three-month period and offers Nordic and Baltic fintech and fintech-enabler startups and early scaleups the opportunity to work with stakeholders such as Mastercard, tier one Nordic banks (e.g. SEB, Danske Bank, DNB, Swedbank and OP Financial Group), our Tech partners (e.g. AWS), Program Advisors (e.g. FinTech Mundi and Invenio Growth) and a circle of Investors. The purpose of the Program is to create a space and opportunity for identifying and pursuing partnership between the program participants and stakeholders, and even the participants themselves.

“The financial technology industry is undergoing a transformational shift, and the fintech companies selected for this program are at the forefront of this revolution. I am excited to see the innovation and disruption that they are bringing - they are pushing the boundaries of traditional banking and payment methods, and their solutions are addressing the changing needs and expectations of consumers. We are very happy to see that Avallone was appointed as the overall winner of the spring FINITIV Program with its innovative solution for managing complex KYC processes in a more effective way,” says Mats Taraldsson, Head of Fintech and Impact Tech Engagement at Mastercard Nordics and Baltics.

The Investor Award was given to Januar, the company that showed most traction with Mastercard Lighthouse’s Investor Circle. JoolPay, a FinTech-driven mobile platform that leverages QR-based invoicing technology, empowering customer-facing users to seamlessly receive payments, tips, and donations through an efficient QR-code system, won the popular vote and received the People’s Choice award. Receipts has been declared the winner of the Norwegian class of Mastercard Lighthouse FINITIV, Spring 2024. They are a B2B Software company delivering true digital receipt data and universal payment keys with a transaction-based revenue and licensing model. Vespia has been declared the winner of the Baltic class of Mastercard Lighthouse FINITIV, Spring 2024. The solution is an AI-driven business verification (KYB) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance platform. It helps financial institutions stay compliant with regulations and onboard customers 90% faster.

Applications for Mastercard Lighthouse 2024 fall programs now and open, and companies can apply here and here.

Media Contacts

Karin Strand, Communications Mastercard Nordics & Baltics

About Lighthouse MASSIV

Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV is an open innovation platform designed to make and scale social impact and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals with the format of long-term partnerships. By providing teams with competitive incentives and preferential access to partner resources, Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV aims to foster partnerships that will enrich the lives of one billion people by 2025. Mastercard Lighthouse MASSIV is designed as a three-stage program. The companies meet with our advisory board, a hand-picked group of executives and partnership experts from around the world, who aim to bring a specific partnership to life. Each partnership proposal receives input from global experts in legal, design, and technology before reporting the results of their partnership endeavors back to the advisory board. The winner of the program is the team that demonstrates the potential to impact the most people via partnership. Read more about Lighthouse MASSIV here: www.mclighthouse.com/massiv

About Lighthouse FINITIV

Mastercard Lighthouse is a partnership program designed to strengthen the financial services ecosystem. Mastercard Lighthouse FINITIV is a tuition-free program designed to catalyze symbiotic partnerships between fintechs / fintech-enablers, Mastercard, tier 1 Banks and other Nordic & Baltic partners. Pairing the energy and innovation of fintechs with the stability and distribution at large financial service firms, the Program produces partnerships that strengthen the entire ecosystem. Each five-month the program hosts a series of on-site and online workshops for 15 fintechs and fintech-enablers, and brings banks, investors, advisors and fintechs together to explore partnerships via open innovation. Read more about Lighthouse FINITIV at www.mclighthouse.com/FINITIV/

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.  

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