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Visa Everywhere Initiative Global Finals – live from Qatar

This year, the Visa Everywhere Initiative invited a diverse and innovative group of startup founders from North America, Latin America, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, Europe and Asia Pacific to showcase their payments innovations. Over the course of the year, startups and fintechs from around the world presented their innovative solutions, and one overall winner was selected to represent each market on a global stage at the competition’s concluding event. The five regional winners met in Qatar and went head-to-head in the Global Finals competition.

Each finalist pitched their innovative solutions live at the Black Box Theatre, in Education City, Qatar. This past year, Visa saw an increased interest and excitement in startups and fintechs exploring how to integrate Visa Direct, Visa’s global money movement network, into their solutions. Watch the startup finalist’s epic pitches in the Visa Everywhere Initiative Global Finals competition here on TechCrunch.

Andrew Torre, regional president for CEMEA at Visa said: “Fintechs and payments innovators are catalyzing how we make payments. They are transforming the way consumers and businesses make payments, making it easier for more people to access the money they need – when they need it.”

Ruben Salazar, Senior Vice President and global head of Visa Direct, said: “As we strive to create more ways for people, SMBs, and larger businesses to participate in the global economy, the VEI competition provides a unique insight on how fintechs are helping shape the future of money movement and expanding access to underserved markets and regions. Today’s Visa Direct Award winner will have access to modern tools and teams that help enable global money movement to billions of endpoints worldwide[1].”


  • Christine De Wendel of Sunday (North America) – The fastest digital payment for restaurants and the industry’s future
  • Alejandro Vega of Huli (Latin America) – Platform that connects patients, doctors and other healthcare services
  • Ayo Arikawe of Thrive Agic (Central Europe, Middle East and Africa) – Providing small holder farmers access to finance, insight and distribution.
  • Mriganka Pattnaik of Mriganka Pattnaik of Merkle Science (AP) – Merkle Science is the next generation predictive Web3 risk & intelligence platform
  • Dan Saunders of Zeti (Europe) – Fintech enabling pay per use financing of sustainable transport

Monetary prizes:

  • Overall Winner: ThriveAgric
    Prize: $100,000 USD
  • 2nd Place Winner: Zeti
    Prize: $20,000 USD
  • 3rd Place Winner: Huli
    Prize: $10,000 USD
  • Audience Favorite: Huli
    Prize $20,000 USD
  • Visa Direct Winner: ThriveAgric
    Prize: $20,000 USD


  • Otto Williams, SVP, Head of Partnerships, Innovation and Digital Solutions for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CEMEA), Visa
  • Wade Arnold, Founder & CEO, Moov Financial
  • Romina Seltzer, Senior Vice President – Products & Innovation for Visa Latin America & the Caribbean, Visa
  • Ruben Salazar, SVP, Global Head of Visa Direct, Visa
  • Sanjay Shamdasani, Managing Director & Partner, geniant


The Global finals event brought together Visa and industry thought leaders and a previous Visa Everywhere Initiative winner to celebrate the innovative fintechs and their solutions. Wade Arnold, founder and CEO of Moov Financial and 2021 Visa Everywhere Initiative North America and Global winner returned as a judge, with special guest Visa’s Dr. Saeeda Jaffar hosting a fireside chat with football legend Marcel Desailly. Visa’s Andrew Torre hosted the event’s opening remarks to welcome the finalists, judges and audience to the Visa Everywhere Initiative 2022 global finals. The Visa Everywhere Initiative 2022 program has awarded over $530,000 in prize money globally over the course of the competition.

Since its launch in 2015, nearly 12,000 startups from more than 100 countries have applied to the Visa Everywhere Initiative. These startups have gone on to collectively raise more than $16 billion in funding. Every year, Visa has expanded the Visa Everywhere Initiative to include unique startups solving unique problems in the world of payments. In the U.S., the Visa Everywhere Initiative 2022 Special Editions spotlighted Black and Women founded startups and we will continue to work with diverse startups and fintechs in the future. Stay tuned for the new programs that will launch in January 2023. For more information go to visa.com/Everywhereinitiative.

[1] Availability varies by market. Please refer to your Visa representative for more information on availability.