OREANDA-NEWS. MasterCard today announced the 2016 summer class of its Start Path Global program – the company’s global effort to support innovative early-stage startups developing the next generation of commerce and fintech solutions. Selected from 500 applications spanning 60 countries, these companies have developed solutions that deliver simple, secure and frictionless commerce experiences.

Launched in 2014, Start Path has worked with more than 60 startups, helping them scale their operations and enter new markets and industries.  This new class of early-stage companies hail from all corners of the globe and are varied in terms of their team size, level of funding, revenue and sales pipeline.

“The companies selected for this class are unbundling traditional commerce and financial services and reconstructing products that offer better consumer experiences,” said Stephane Wyper, global lead for MasterCard Start Path. “They are altering the world of commerce by using powers of mobile, big data, and analytics, moving to mainstream at a very fast pace.”

The program helps startups tackle business problems and introduce them to new opportunities around the world. The support provided by this six-month, virtual program ranges from operational and commercial support, to investment. For example, ClubApp, an Irish startup that provides sports clubs with a platform to share live updates from matches while generating match statistics, has integrated Qkr! with MasterPass technology to enable its members to pay clubs fees and buy club merchandise via the app. Rainbird is currently working to build an artificial intelligence-driven virtual assistant to augment knowledge-sharing and decision-making across the MasterCard UK loyalty sales team. Razorpay, an online payment gateway in India has received investment from MasterCard through the Start Path program.

“We were inspired by the success stories that have emerged from Start Path to apply for a spot in the program and are looking forward to collaborating with MasterCard,” said Leanne Kemp, CEO and founder of Everledger. “The opportunity to learn from a global leader that champions emerging technology is perfectly aligned with Everledger’s innovation ethos, and we can’t wait to get started on building new applications and use cases in this environment to help grow our business.”

The startups will join MasterCard for an immersion week in London, working on customized projects throughout the six month virtual program, and followed by the Start Path Global Partner summit in New York in November. There, they will engage in in-person advisory sessions and be introduced to MasterCard partners like Rakuten, TSYS (Total System Services, Inc.) and Royal Bank of Canada.