Philippine-based financial technology (fintech) startup Acudeen Technologies became the overall winner for Seedstars World 2017, a global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets that concluded Thursday night in Switzerland.
Led by its CEO Magellan Fetalino III, Acudeen bested startups in 65 countries at the pitching contest held at the SwissTech Convention Centre in Lausanne and received the grand prize of $500,000 in investments.
Seedstars Group said in a statement that it had crowned the Acudeen team as “Seedstars World Global Winner 2017” for their innovative solution that turns SMEs invoices into cash through discounting of their receivables, providing them with necessary working capital they were not getting from the banks.
Besides Acudeen, three other startups from Asia made it to the top 14 finalists, namely Sri Lanka’s eLearning startup LayUp, Singapore’s app-based air-quality sensor maker uHoo, and spectroscopy technology startup PiQuant from South Korea.
“We saw a lot of great entrepreneurs and great mentors to learn from during the summit. It was all worth it,” Fetalino said, in an interview with DEALSTREETASIA.
He said they plan to use the latest investments for market education.
“[Investments] will be ployed back to the business. SMEs don’t know what factoring is,” Fetalino said. “We will do a nationwide campaign on the matter.”
Venture Capital 500 Startups had invested an undisclosed sum in Acudeen last quarter. Acudeen also has a partnership with Philippine-listed commercial bank RCBC.
Other finalists awarded at the Seedstars World 2017 competition were Asafeer Education Technologies from UAE which won the Transforming Education Prize, Mexico’s UnDosTres for Fintech Prize, Peru’s qAIRa as Best Woman Entrepreneur, South Korea’s PiQuant as Most Innovative Startup, and Mind Rockets from Jordan winning the Public Vote award.