Three fintech startups that provide digital solutions aimed at improving the financial health of low- to moderate-income Malaysians have won the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)’s B40 Challenge programme. This competition is part of the accelerator programme MyFintech Week’19.
The three startups are:
- GoGet, an on-demand workforce platform that helps connect people who need specific jobs to a network of verified workers of low- and moderate- income population, called “GoGetters.” “GoGetters” were finding it hard to put the money they earned aside toward short- and long-term savings, which prompted them to pilot micro savings within the platform in partnership with Pod, another winner of the B40 Challenge.
- Senang, a platform that offers insurance tailored to the needs of micro-enterprises with a simpler, more flexible, and as affordable as RM1 for as little as one day. The idea is to provide insurance for low- and middle- income Malaysians for as little as a few ringgits just for the day of the week they are working, and by using the Senang API partner platform this insurance can be issued immediately.
- Pod, a micro-savings app that helps young Malaysians save money for specific goals. Pod does so by rounding up users’ leftover change and transferring into savings, enabling them to progress toward their goals without feeling the pinch.
Following their win, UNCDF will work with these three startups to provide funding and guidance to help them bring their solutions to market. These solutions will be a key part of UNCDF’s mission, implemented through the Financial Innovation Lab.
The B40 Challenge is the first major initiative carried out by the UNCDF in Malaysia and is funded by MetLife Foundation through the i3 Program (which stands for Innovate, Implement, and Impact).
18 startups were first picked from 110 applicants. Together, they worked with the UNCDF over three and a half months, developing and refining their solutions.
Six out of 18 were then invited to pitch their projects to a panel of industry-leading judges that included:
- Surina Shukri, CEO of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation;
- Adnan Zaylani Mohamad Zahid, Assistant Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia;
- Niloy Banerjee, UN Development Program Resident Representative for Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei Darussalam;
- Krishna Thacker, Regional Director for MetLife Foundation in Asia;
- Henri Dommel, UNCDF Director of Financial Inclusion;
- Tillman Bruett, Director and Secretariat of the UN Secretary-General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the SDGs.