Two Indian tech startups - StaTwig and Avyantra Health Technologies -- both of them from Hyderabad, have been named under eight technology companies in developing and emerging economies that will receive investment from the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund (CryptoFund) to solve local and global challenges.

While StaTwig is a T-Hub incubated startup, Avyantra Health Technologies was incubated at IIIT-Hyderabad.

This investments in startups (from seven countries) is UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund's largest investment of startups in developing and emerging economies, to date.

The CryptoFund will invest 125 ETH (Ether - equivalent to USD 28,741 approx) in the eight selected companies to develop prototypes, pilot, or scale their technologies over six months. Currently, at time of wrting this news, the price of 125 ETH.

Besides the Indian Startups, the other six startups selected for funding includes - Afinidata, Cireha, Ideasis, OS City, Somleng and Utopic.

Besides receiving cryptocurrency to continue the development of their open-source and digital public goods, the selected startups have previously received up to $100,000 from UNICEF’s Innovation Fund, a pooled funding vehicle of UNICEF for equity-free investments in early stage (seed) for-profit technology start-ups.

Besides funding, these investee startups will receive business growth mentorship, product, and technical assistance, open-source and UX and UI development, access to experts and partners, as well as opportunities to showcase their solutions.

“We are seeing the digital world come at us more quickly than we could have imagined – and UNICEF must be able to use all of the tools of this new world to help children today and tomorrow,” says Chris Fabian, Senior Adviser, co-Lead, UNICEF Ventures. “The transfer of these funds – to eight companies in seven countries around the world – took less than 20 minutes and cost us less than $20. Almost instant global movement of value, fees of less than 0.00009% of the total amount transferred, and real-time transparency for our donors and supporters are the types of tools we are excited about.”

Full list of 8 selected start-up companies under UNICEF CryptoFund -

  • Afinidata (Guatemala) is further developing its AI-based app to provide parents with personalized early childhood educational activities.

  • Avyantra (India) is expanding the functionality of its health app which uses data science to support frontline health workers in the early diagnosis of neonatal sepsis.

  • Cireha (Argentina) is scaling the reach of its accessible app in three countries to help more children with speech impairments communicate using symbols.

  • Ideasis (Turkey) is transitioning its exposure therapy tool from VR to WebVR to address anxieties and phobias from users’ homes. They will develop new therapy scenarios to address COVID-19 and isolation-related disorders.

  • OS City (Mexico) is issuing blockchain-based government assets, heading towards issuing 1,000 blockchain IDs to allocate children’s educational diplomas.

  • StaTwig (India) is piloting its blockchain-based app by partnering with the Government of India to track and improve the delivery of rice and support their effort to secure food for millions living in poverty – a need amplified by the onset of COVID-19.

  • Somleng (Cambodia) is scaling its low-cost Interactive Voice Response platform by partnering with the Government of Cambodia to send vital information about COVID-19.

  • Utopic (Chile) is transitioning its learning game from VR to WebVR and empowering educators to assess, track, and help improve children’s reading skills from their homes during COVID-19 containment measures and beyond.

Launched in October 2019, the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund is part of UNICEF’s ongoing work with blockchain technology. UNICEF co-leads the UN Innovation Network with WFP. The network is responsible for researching the potential and pitfalls of blockchain and other emerging technologies.

Currently,  the UNICEF Innovation Fund and CryptoFund have an open call for blockchain solutions to apply for funding (up to $100,000 and cryptocurrency combined) and mentorship.


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