MasterCard Connects Startups to Its Global Network of Big Brand Partners

MasterCard today announced the new startups comprising its first global Start Path class. During the six-month incubation program, participants will obtain customized mentoring from MasterCard experts, access to the company’s commercial partners and the opportunity to integrate with MasterCard solutions. The startups will also have access to nearly 40 startups that have been previously mentored by Start Path.

Launched in 2014, MasterCard Start Path is a global effort to support innovative early stage startups developing the next generation of commerce solutions. This initial class of early-stage startups, selected from more than 200 applicants, are using big data, mobile and cloud-based applications to build digital relationships, empower consumers and simplify complicated tasks. Hailing from all corners of the globe, they are also diverse in terms of team size, level of funding, revenue and sales pipeline.

We had a chance to talk to Stephane Wyper, global lead of MasterCard Start Path, about the selection process and a startup’s journey at Start Path. Most of the startups that we shortlisted have great founding members in the team. They are serial entrepreneurs with 10-15 years experience in the industry. The shortlisted startups also have a Series A or first round of funding. We really looked out for startups that have the ability to change the commerce and payments world, said Stephane while explaining the common patterns seen in the shortlisted startups.

Through our local efforts to support developing FinTech partners, we quickly saw the need for a more globally-inclusive program that provides startups access to new markets without uprooting them, said Stephane. This program creates just that – a geographically diverse way to help some of those new to the market build partnerships with more established players as a way to accelerate their growth.

He continued explaining the final goal of Start Path and said, What we really want out of the Start Path global program and our Commerce Innovated US program is enabling our corporate clients to be able to use financial innovation solutions. Both these programs are a great way of achieving it. We will be helping the shortlisted startups by giving them access to MasterCard’s network and mentorship from experienced people in MasterCard."

The digital shift in commerce is proving to be a happy hunting ground for startups. However, of all startups with great products and services, 50 percent fail in the first five years1 due to lack of a good support structure: mentorship, access to new markets and connections with partners.

Over the next six months, Start Path Global participants will take part in immersion weeks hosted in Berlin and Singapore, and receive ongoing virtual support from the MasterCard network. The Start Path mentors will help them tackle business problems and introduce them to new opportunities around the world.

We are excited to work with the Start Path team to approach new markets and give our solution a competitive edge as we grow and scale, said Paul Chapman, chief executive officer of Moneytree. We find MasterCard Start Path Global compelling because it is not a corporate accelerator — instead, it is a partnership built to fit the needs of our business.

The inaugural MasterCard global Start Path class includes these companies:

  • Control helps businesses understand and manage their online payments. Integrated with multiple global payment processors, Control delivers real-time payment analytics, customer intelligence and fraud tools to any device.
  • Moneytree helps customers instantly answer the question: where, when and how am I spending, saving and investing my money.
  • Rainbird uses artificial intelligence to help businesses capture human expertise in software. This helps scale knowledge within a company through virtual, smart tools.
  • VATBox maximizes visibility, governance & VAT recovery by providing CFOs & corporate tax executives better visibility into their global VAT expenses.

Stephane explained the next plans for Startup Path and said, We are now looking forward to the Berlin Start Path Summit, which is expecting nearly 50 of our corporate partners to be present. This is for the first time every MasterCard is holding an event to bring startups and corporate partners together."

About MasterCard Start Path

MasterCard Start Path is a global effort to support innovative early stage startups developing the next generation of commerce solutions today. Start Path was launched in 2014 with an objective to help early stage startups partnering with each startup to grow their businesses faster than they could by themselves. Startups can benefit from the knowledge of a global network of MasterCard experts, access to MasterCard customers and partners, and the ability to innovate on top of MasterCard solutions. For more information visit or follow MasterCard Start Path on Twitter at @MAstartpath. For US-based startups MasterCard works in partnership with Silicon Valley Bank on Commerce.Innovated.

About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news.

1 According to a Gallup Poll