The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has announced its largest cryptocurrency investment funding of startups. Eight companies in seven countries will use Unicef’s crypto fund to develop prototypes, pilot, or scale their technologies. Several of them are working on mitigating the hardships resulting from the covid-19 pandemic.
Unicef Announces Largest Crypto Investment
Unicef Cryptocurrency Fund announced on Friday its largest investment of startups in developing and emerging economies. Companies receiving crypto funding include those that will use their technologies towards mitigating the hardships of covid-19. Unicef is a U.N. agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide. The announcement reads:
Eight technology companies in developing and emerging economies will receive investment from the Unicef Cryptocurrency Fund (Cryptofund) to solve local and global challenges.
The Unicef crypto fund will invest 125 ETH in the eight companies from seven countries “to develop prototypes, pilot, or scale their technologies over six months,” the announcement details. “All investees have previously received up to $100,000 from Unicef’s Innovation Fund and are now receiving cryptocurrency to continue the development of their open-source and digital public goods.”
“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 of 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.”
Recipients of Unicef’s Crypto Funding
Among the eight companies receiving crypto from the Unicef Cryptocurrency Fund, three are grantees that received the fund’s first cryptocurrency investment last year. The rest were chosen from almost 40 startups that have graduated from the Unicef Innovation Fund. These companies “have undergone technical evaluations, quality assessments of their open-source tech solutions, evidence of impact and more,” Unicef described.
Two of the recipients of Unicef’s crypto are Indian companies: Avyantra and Statwig. Other recipients are Afinidata (Guatemala), Cireha (Argentina), Ideasis (Turkey), OS City (Mexico), Somleng (Cambodia), and Utopic (Chile).
Besides funding, these companies 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,” the Unicef announcement further notes.
Unicef launched its cryptocurrency fund in October 2019 and became the first U.N. organization to hold and make transactions in cryptocurrency. The crypto fund makes disbursements denominated in bitcoin and ether to finance early stage, open-source technology benefiting children and young people. In addition, the Unicef Innovation Fund and Cryptofund currently have an open call for blockchain solutions to apply for funding of up to $100,000 and cryptocurrency combined.
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