Unicef Plans to Fund Blockchain Startups


Funding for humanitarian assistance such as relief efforts of refugees and poor children has been hampered quickly by legal or economic constraints. To improve this situation, UNICEF is trying the first approach using blockchain technology.

By applying blockchain to the humanitarian aid field, and taking advantage of the characteristics of P2P, it will be possible to achieve faster, cheaper and more efficient financial.

Through the Unicef Innovation Fund, Unicef (United Nations Children’s Fund) is seeking early-stage Blockchain startups to invest in. Under the philosophy of helping children around the world, they aim to apply blockchain technology for humanitarian causes.
A public announcement that was made on their website stated that: The Unicef Innovation Fund is offering equity-free investments of $50,000 – $90,000 for startups which develop solutions on open Blockchains including (but not limited to):
- Smart contracts
- Analyzing data
- Tokens
- Mining

Not only offering funding support, the Unicef Innovation Fund is also offering technical assistance from the Unicef Ventures team. This is to choose projects in order to help validate and improve solutions. The chosen startups will be benefited by having the use of a dedicated Blockchain team. The team will be from the Unicef Innovation Fund and the data sharing platforms of Unicef Ventures. Additionally they will also have access to mentors who will help them improve their business model and strategy.

In the first round, there were 650 companies that applied for this funding. And according to Unicef, they will choose 40 companies to fund, through this scheme.

This strategy is the next step in order to continue their 2016 project. There were 5 companies that were picked to offer $100,000 into each company. They are SayCel (from Nicaragua), mPower Social Enterprises Ltd (Bangladesh), 9Needs Pvt Ltd (South Africa), Innovations for Poverty Alleviation Lab (Pakistan), and Chatterbox Dating Mobile (Cambodia).

The 5 startups that were funded by Unicef and their ideas

- SayCel
Providing low cost cellular networks and emergency calling for poor and rural areas. With the funds, they will expand their service to new areas in Nicaragua.

- SayCel

- mPower Social Enterprises Ltd.
The platform of this company would run on tablets of medical care centers’ staff. Allowing them to collect data around maternity and child care as well as improve vaccination rates among children and the coverage of antenatal care services for women in Bangladesh.

- mPower Social Enterprises Ltd.

- 9Needs Pvt Ltd.
By utilizing the advancement of blockchain and identity authentication technology, South Africa Early Childhood Education Development Programmer will create a system for child identification registration, reliable database provision and better management systems for early childhood development services.

- 9Needs Pvt Ltd.

- Innovations for Poverty Alleviation Lab (IPAL)
Belongs to the Information Technology University in Pakistan. This organization is telling stories through mobile phones to inform fathers about maternal healthcare and helping future mothers.

- Innovations for Poverty Alleviation Lab (IPAL)

- Chatterbox Dating Mobile application
- Providing basic technical layers embedded in UNICEF’s RapidPro platform, especially in Cambodia and in the future for literacy-laden communities around the world.
– Chatterbox Dating Mobile application

Unicef is still waiting for more applications through their official website: applications close at 11:59pm EST February 28th, 2018.

Conclusion

Blockchain technology has increased its presence in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Blockchain technology will not only contribute to the financial industry in the future but it will also be recognized that it can be applied to social activities to support disadvantaged poor people living in rural areas.

Currently, the humanitarian funding for the international community as a whole is increasing, but the increase in refugees worldwide and the expansion of the poor by natural disasters cannot meet the demand for funds. Blockchain technology is expected to be a new solution to strengthen the foundation of health services and education systems in developing countries.

We, Wrapious Ltd have been already undertaking humanitarian activities mainly in Southeast Asia. We hope that the next-generation SNS Wrappy that follows our vision grows up with the people who can sympathize with the vision. The future that Wrappy will create a world that makes people equal and happy.

Reference sites
https://www.coindesk.com/unicef-just-invested-first-blockchain-startup/
http://unicefstories.org/blockchaincall/
http://www.wired.co.uk/article/unicef-fund-companies-innovation-fund
https://gust.com/companies/saycel
https://www.mpower-social.com/
https://community.rapidpro.io/about-rapidpro/
https://www.unicef.org/media/
https://www.unicef.org/media/media_93268.html