Today, the award-winning global startup engagement program Mastercard Start Path welcomes eight later-stage startups to receive dedicated operational support, access to customers and product teams, and opportunities for strategic investment. Dodo, Flow Networks, Hi55, Kani, NowNow, Sharesies and SmilePay have also been selected, and KaiOS is proud to be one of the new joiners.
Founded in 2016, KaiOS emerged as the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones, which was designed from the ground up to address the need for reliable, affordable feature phones with smartphone functionality in markets heavily impacted by the digital divide. It is affordable and easy-to-use, ideal for first-time internet users and those looking for an alternative to smartphones.
Five years since the first KaiOS-enabled device is shipped, KaiOS has gone up against industry giants to become one of the largest mobile OS, and now with a solid user base of over 165 million across the world. Never deviating from its mission of massively migrating 2G users to 4G to close the digital divide, KaiOS expands into a digital financial inclusion platform to bring the first digital economy experience to those who are excluded from a formal financial system with mobile payment, fintech, and device financing solutions.
Being selected for the Mastercard Start Path program allows KaiOS to connect with a global ecosystem of banks, fintechs, and technology players and unlock the potential of Mastercard’s network. This could facilitate KaiOS’s transformation into an inclusion enabler that brings the first digital financial experience to the next billion. KaiOS will receive support through Start Path to build a connected world with the provision of affordable, accessible, and relevant digital financial products that have never previously been available to the 1.7 billion unbanked and 3.7 billion unconnected population – mostly those with lower incomes, the elderly and women living in rural areas.
More details on the Mastercard Newsroom about KaiOS and other fintech innovators joining Mastercard Start Path: https://www.mastercard.com/news/perspectives/2022/mastercard-start-path-startup-engagement-program-wave-22/