BY MARIANA LÓPEZ
Contxto – The UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund is upping its ante. Last Friday (19), it announced it made its largest investment yet. As a result, four startups from Latin America will raise 125 ETH (worth around US$28,600 according to Cointelegraph) to develop, pilot, or scale their open source products.
For this investment round, the international organization chose a total of eight tech companies from developing countries for their solutions in blockchain technology. In a press release, it also clarified that these startups had received up to US$100,000 from the Fund but now are receiving an additional amount in crypto.
Besides funding, these startups benefit from mentorships and networking opportunities to strut their stuff. It’s also worth pointing out that this is the second time the fund makes an investment. Its previous group of beneficiaries was a smaller group of three startups.
Funding opportunity: UNICEF is currently open to receiving applications from early-stage startups using blockchain tech. Program beneficiaries will obtain funding grants for up to US$100,000 (in fiat or cryptocurrency).
If you want to learn more, check out the UNICEF Innovation Fund’s call for submissions here.
UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund’s chosen startups
Usually with these funding announcements startups tend to be from the same countries (I’m looking at you Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia). But this time around there’s a bit of variety. Check ’em out!
Early childhood education plays a critical role in a person’s development later on in life. That’s why Afinidata wants to offer parents activities and guidance for their kids through a chatbot. Through engaging tasks, kiddies up to six years old are better prepared for the future.
Cireha wants to scale its app, “Cboard,” to help more children with speech impairments communicate through symbols. It’s particularly interested in scaling into countries where these types of tools are virtually nonexistent. Further down the line, it wants to add machine learning and new interfaces to its product.
This startup had previously participated in the UNICEF Innovation Fund’s accelerator program. Now through the organization’s CryptoFund, it’s raising Ethereum to bolster its digital certificate platform and register children’s educational diplomas.
Another edtech in the batch, Utopic wants to make learning experiences in classrooms more engaging through virtual reality (VR) tech. Using VR headsets and video games, the startup has tested its product with 500 kids at an elementary school level to make (pardon the cliché) learning fun. Where was this tech when I was a kid?!
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