Dublin fintech Layer selected for Mastercard’s global accelerator

13 Aug 2021

Image: Layer

The Irish B2B SaaS start-up joins 10 other fintech companies from around the world in the Start Path programme.

Mastercard has revealed the 11 fintech start-ups selected for its global Start Path accelerator programme, with a line-up that includes Dublin’s Layer.

This Irish start-up operates on a B2B SaaS basis, providing financial institutions with customisable digital platforms using open banking technology. Its target market is wide, including retail and corporate banks as well as credit unions and insurers.

Layer was founded in 2011 by Roy Zakka and currently has more than 70 employees serving clients in 25 countries, which go on to work with 25m consumers. The company opened a funding round in June, looking to raise between €5m and €10m to fund expansion across Europe.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Mastercard as part of their global start-up engagement programme to create better banking and finance outcomes for customers globally,” said Zakka, who is CEO of the business.

“As banks look to modernise, transform and digitalise their systems in a sustainable and future-proof way, Layer will strive to accelerate these efforts worldwide.”

The global programme will give Layer access to a range of supports and mentorship services. Mastercard said that since it founded Start Path in 2014, the accelerator’s 260 alumni have gone on to raise a collective $5bn in capital.

Amy Neale, senior vice-president for fintech and enablers at Mastercard, added: “When fintech companies thrive, we all benefit. We’re excited for Layer to join the Mastercard Start Path programme, where they’ll receive access to our technology, customers and mentorship to accelerate their journey to grow and scale.”

Other start-ups admitted to the Start Path programme include Finmond, which makes financial projection tools for small businesses; Flourish Savings, which aims to gamify the money-saving process; GenEqty, a digital platform that pitches itself as an alternative to conventional banking; and Karri, a payment app for schools and community organisations.

These are joined by Smart Tenancy, a Hong Kong-based rental management platform; Kwara, a digital platform for savings and credit cooperative organisations; and Osper, which provides prepaid debit cards and mobile banking aimed at children.

The final start-ups are Swap, a Brazilian banking-as-a-service outfit that aims to make it easier for fintech businesses to launch their own services; UpSwot, which builds an API to let banks plug their digital platforms into B2B SaaS products; and finally Wellthi, a maker of ‘social banking solutions’ to help banks and governments make use of AI and data analytics.

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin