Dublin fintech Layer only Irish start-up selected for global Mastercard programme

  • Dublin fintech Layer is the only Irish start-up to join 10 other early-stage companies from around the world in Mastercard's global Start Path accelerator programme.

    Layer operates on a business-to-business software as a service (B2B SaaS) basis, providing financial institutions with customisable digital platforms using open banking technology.

    Its target market is wide, including retail and corporate banks, credit unions and insurers.

    Layer was founded in 2011 by Roy Zakka and currently has more than 70 employees serving clients in 25 countries, which go on to work with 25m consumers.

    The firm opened a funding round in June, looking to raise between €5m and €10m to fund expansion across Europe.

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    “We are delighted to be partnering with Mastercard as part of their global start-up engagement programme to create better banking and finance outcomes for customers globally,” said Zakka, who is CEO of the business.

    “As banks look to modernise, transform and digitalise their systems in a sustainable and future-proof way, Layer will strive to accelerate these efforts worldwide.”

    The Start Path initiative began in 2014, and in those seven years the accelerator's 260 alumni have gone on to raise a collective $5bn in capital, said Mastercard.

    Amy Neale, senior vice-president for fintech and enablers at Mathe finance giant added: “When fintech companies thrive, we all benefit. We’re excited for Layer to join the Mastercard Start Path programme, where they’ll receive access to our technology, customers and mentorship to accelerate their journey to grow and scale.”

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    Other start-ups admitted to the Start Path programme include Finmond, which makes financial projection tools for small businesses; Flourish Savings, which aims to gamify the money-saving process; GenEqty, a digital platform that pitches itself as an alternative to conventional banking; and Karri, a payment app for schools and community organisations.

    These are joined by Smart Tenancy, a Hong Kong-based rental management platform; Kwara, a digital platform for savings and credit cooperative organisations; and Osper, which provides prepaid debit cards and mobile banking aimed at children.

    The final start-ups are Swap, a Brazilian banking-as-a-service outfit that aims to make it easier for fintech businesses to launch their own services; UpSwot, which builds an API to let banks plug their digital platforms into B2B SaaS products; and finally Wellthi, a maker of ‘social banking solutions’ to help banks and governments make use of AI and data analytics.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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