UNICEF provides crypto funding for startups in developing nations

UNICEF provides crypto funding for startups in developing nations

By Benson Toti - min read

This is the organisation’s largest crypto investment funding of startups to date

On Friday, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced it would fund eight technology companies from seven different emergent economies.

The UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund will give 125 Ethereum (ETH) to each company, which is worth over $28,600, to be used in scaling or prototyping their respective technologies over the next six months. The companies that are beneficiaries of this investment have already received as much as $100,000 in fiat currency from UNICEF’s Innovation Fund.

One UNICEF beneficiary called Afinidata offers educational content to parents with young children. Another, named Cireha, builds communication systems that children with speech or language impairments can use in the offline world. UNICEF is working with companies that have a clear mission, providing a much-needed boost in cryptocurrency to help them sustain their momentum moving forward.

Chris Fabian, co-leader of UNICEF Ventures, said that the organisation is working to adapt to the digital world so it is better equipped to help children.

“We are seeing the digital world come at us more quickly than we could have imagined – and UNICEF must be able to use all of the tools of this new world to help children today and tomorrow.” he started.

“The transfer of these funds – to eight companies in seven countries around the world – took less than 20 minutes and cost us less than $20. Almost instant global movement of value, fees of less than 0.00009% of the total amount transferred, and real-time transparency for our donors and supporters are the types of tools we are excited about.”

Of the eight companies that are receiving crypto funding from the UNICEF, three are grantees from the fund’s first crypto investment last year. The rest were chosen from a roster of almost 40 startups that graduated from the UNICEF Innovation Fund.

UNICEF describes these companies as “having undergone technical evaluations, quality assessments of their open-source tech solutions, evidence of impact and more.”

Avyantra and Statwig, two of the recipient companies, are based in India. Other recipients include Afinidata from Guatemala, Cireha from Argentina, Ideasis from Turkey, OS City from Mexico, Somleng from Cambodia and Utopic from Chile.

Apart from funding, the UNICEF announcement also revealed that these companies will “receive business growth mentorship, product, and technical assistance, open-source and UX and UI development, access to experts and partners, as well as opportunities to showcase their solutions.”

The UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund was launched in October 2019. It became the first UN organisation to hold and conduct transactions in cryptocurrency.