PearlPay, an all Filipino-led fintech company, took home the third prize during the global finals of the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) last Sept. 15. Started in 2015, the initiative is an open innovation program that helps startups to unlock new opportunities and gives them a global platform to demonstrate their innovative solutions. Over the past 5 years, a total of 8,500 startups had applied and have collectively raised over $2.5 billion in funding.
For VEI 2021, over 2,000 fintech and startups around the world applied. It was narrowed down to a total of 25 companies with 5 companies selected per region: Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa Region (CEMEA), Latin America, North America, and Europe.
Each region held its regional finals with the winner heading to the VEI 2021 Global Finals. For the first time, a Philippine-based startup was a VEI regional winner and represented not just the Philippines but the entire Asia Pacific in the Global Finals and won 3rd place.
“This one is for the Philippines. On behalf of the entire PearlPay team, we will be relentless in our pursuit to make financial services universally accessible,” said CEO Spark Perreras in his acceptance speech.
With the rampant issue of unequal financial access, PearlPay’s work in supporting the transformation of rural banks, microfinance institutions (MFI), and cooperatives in the Philippines and Indonesia may provide accessible financial services to millions of people — helping them grow and thrive in the long run.
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