Aussie startup Sempo bags $1.6 million from the EU to fund crypto-for-good project in partnership with Oxfam
Aussie blockchain fintech Sempo has secured €1 million ($1.6 million) in funding from the European Commission to fuel digital aid projects in partnership with Oxfam.
Sempo provides a centralised model for distributing aid to people affected by disasters, particularly those who don’t have access to a bank account, but do have a smartphone.
The startup uses a suite of cryptocurrencies, with one acting as the ‘global reserve’. The idea is to get people and stores in remote communities onto the platform, allowing for digital cash purchases at times of crisis.In September last year, Sempo took the top prize at Startup Victoria’s Impact Pitch Night.
Since then, it has been fielding an uptick in interest from NGOs both in Australia and internationally, co-founder Tristan Cole tells SmartCompany.
Sempo’s project was one of five to secure backing as part of the European Commission’s European Innovation Council Prize for Blockchains for Social GoodIt beat “a couple of hundred” applicants to make the top five, which each secured a €1 million cash injection, Cole says.
For an Aussie startup, he admits it’s “a little unusual” to secure government funding from the European Union, and in euros for that matter.
But, the scheme only needed the lead funding applicant to be based in Europe — that was Oxfam Ireland.
And for a startup with global ambitions, there’s no reason to be restricted to funding options on your home ground.
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