Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 18 May 2022 – Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, has announced the winners of the Saudi Arabia edition of its 2022 Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI), a global innovation program and competition for startups and fintech companies, held yesterday at Hub by Fintech Saudi, in KAFD, Riyadh.
First place and prize money of 200,000 SAR ($53,000) went to NQOODLET. The expense management fintech platform will now participate in the CEMEA regional finals for the Visa Everywhere Initiative, which will take place on June 17, 2022, where they will compete for a total of 170,000 SAR ($45,000).
Founded in 2021by CEO Mohamed Milyani, NQOODLET provides a digital platform for SMEs to manage their expenses, purchases, and register bills directly through corporate cards.
Also honored at the VEI finale, Tamawal was runner-up with prize money of 150,000 SAR ($40,000), and the third-place finisher, EdfaPay, received a total of 100,000 SAR ($27,000). With the most votes from the audience, EdfaPay also won the Audience Favorite award for Saudi Arabia and received 50,000 SAR ($13,000) in prize money.
Ali Bailoun, Visa’s General Manager for Saudi Arabia, commented: “Over the past year, we have seen tremendous progress in the Saudi fintech industry. Given the enormous potential of the sector, we were delighted to partner with Fintech Saudi to bring the 'Visa Everywhere Initiative' to the Kingdom for the first time. This is also in line with Visa's commitment to support innovators who are developing solutions that enable seamless money transactions everywhere. We are pleased to announce the winners and runners-up from VEI, as well as the crowd favorite in Saudi Arabia. It was incredibly exciting to see such high caliber fintechs and startups at this year's edition of VEI. We would like to congratulate all the winners once again and wish NQOODLET the best of luck at the CEMEA regional finals."
“The partnership with the Visa Everywhere initiative aligns very well with Fintech Saudi's mission to support and promote the region's fintech industry. We were very impressed with each of the participants and their innovative digital commerce solutions. We would like to congratulate NQOODLET and look forward to them representing Saudi Arabia on a regional level,” said Nezar AlHaidar, Acting Director of Fintech Saudi.
Each of these finalists presented their solutions to the payment challenges of tomorrow to an expert panel of judges which included:
- Ahmad Alshammary, General Partner at STV
- Lateefa Alwaalan, Managing Director for Endeavour Saudi
- Amal Dokhan, Partner at 500 Global
- Ali Bailoun, VP, General Manager for Saudi Arabia - Visa
- Alex McCrea, VP, Head of Digital Partnerships, Fintech & Ventures – CEMEA, Visa
- Thereshini Peter, VP, Financial Planning & Analysis - MENA, Visa
The focus of this year’s competition is on products that deliver innovative payment and commerce solutions to consumers and businesses. These encompass the market areas of: Enablers of digital services and digital issuers; Digital issuance; Value-add for merchants and/or consumers with regards to finance; and small to medium-sized business recovery.
In addition to receiving the prize money and a guaranteed spot at the CEMEA regional finals, NQOODLET will have the chance to advance to the global finals and compete against regional winners from Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America, which will be live-streamed on TechCrunch in November 2022 in Qatar.