UNICEF's Innovation Fund announces first cohort of blockchain investments in emerging markets


New York / 10 December 2018 – Six companies in developing and emerging economies will receive investment from the UNICEF's Innovation Fund to solve global challenges using blockchain technology.

The UNICEF Innovation Fund will invest up to $ 100,000 USD in the six companies; Atix Labs, Onesmart, Prescrypto, Statwig, Utopixar and W3 Engineers to deliver open-source prototypes of blockchain applications within 12-months.

100 countries across 50 countries, these six companies will build prototypes and systems for global problems like transparency in health-care delivery, affordable access to mobile phone connectivity. They join 20 other technology startups, currently under management by the Fund in fields from data science and machine learning, to virtual reality, to drones.

"Blockchain technology is still at an early stage – and there is a great deal of experimentation, failure, and learning ahead of us as we know how," 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 technology grow and mature in the most fair and equitable way possible."

  • Atix Labs (Argentina) will be developing a platform for small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • Onesmart (Mexico) will address the misappropriation of funds in emerging markets with the scale of its prototype application, which provides the delivery of social services to children and young people.
  • Prescrypto (Mexico) will provide a digital solution to the lack of development in the United States.
  • Statwig (India) will use blockchain solutions to ensure the efficient delivery of vaccines through an enhanced supply-chain management system.
  • Utopixar (Tunisia) will deliver a social collaboration tool for communities and organizations to facilitate participative decision-making and value transfer.
  • W3 Engineers (Bangladesh), will improve connectivity within the refugee and migrant communities through an offline mobile network platform without the use of sim cards and internet connection.

These investments are part of UNICEF's large-scale blockchain exploration process.

In addition to funding the start-up companies, UNICEF's Innovation Fund will provide product and technology assistance, support with business growth, and access to a network of experts and partners. It has invested in, as well as the opportunity to scale these technologies, when they are successful, in the more than 190 countries and territories where UNICEF operates.


Notes to the editor

Prototypes of software, platforms and applications are available, demonstrations can be arranged upon request.

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