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UNICEF Innovation Fund backs blockchain-based projects focused on emerging markets

Photo: Glassdoor

Wed, 12 Dec 2018, 06:41 am UTC

The UNICEF Innovation Fund has announced its plans to invest $100,000 in six companies each to support the development of blockchain solutions.

According to a press release dated December 10, the Fund will invest in Argentina-based Atix Labs, Mexico-based Onesmart and Prescrypto, India-based Statwig, Tunisia-based Utopixar and Bangladesh-based W3 Engineers to deliver open-source prototypes of blockchain applications within 12-months.

On December 09, UNICEF Innovation Fund announced its largest investment round to date with the addition of 13 new startups to the 2019 investment portfolio.

The six companies will build blockchain prototypes that address the key challenges faced in various areas such as healthcare, misappropriation of funds in emerging markets, access to funding for SMEs, connectivity within the refugee and migrant communities and much more.

In addition to the funding, UNICEF’s Innovation Fund will provide these startups with product and technology assistance, support with business growth, and access to a network of experts and partners. It will also actively seek second-round investment for these companies and the opportunity to scale-up these technologies, when they are successful, in the over 190 countries and territories.

The funding is part of UNICEF's larger efforts to explore blockchain technology and smart-contracts for organizational efficiencies, creating distributed decision-making processes, and to improve its understanding of these innovative technologies.

“Blockchain technology is still at an early stage -- and there is a great deal of experimentation, failure, and learning ahead of us as we see how, and where, we can use this technology to create a better world,” said Chris Fabian, Principal Adviser, UNICEF Innovation.

“That's exactly the stage when UNICEF Innovation Fund invests: when our financing, technical support, and focus on vulnerable populations can help a technology grow and mature in the most fair and equitable way possible.”

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