After successfully publishing a “blockchain call” months ago UNICEF is now investing in six blockchain startups. UNICEF received over 100 applications from 50 different nations, when it called for early -stage technology startups. The organization’s innovation fund boasts of 20 other technology companies. These enterprises include “ data science, drones, machine learning etc.
The official release mentions that these investments are a significant milestone and will form an integral part of the humanitarian agency.
“Using smart-contracts for organizational efficiencies, creating distributed decision-making processes, and working to build knowledge and understanding of distributed ledger technology both in the United Nations and in the countries where UNICEF works.”
The organization will invest upto $100,000 USD in Atix Labs, Onesmart, Prescrypto, Statwig, Utopixar, and W3 Engineers.
Blockchain Solutions to be Delivered in 2019
The startups need to deliver their open-source prototypes of their blockchain applications within the next 12 months.
Atix Labs,based in Argentina is building a platform for medium-sized businesses to access investments in a manner which will provide transparency in usage of funds.
Onesmart, based in Mexico will ensure the delivery of state-provided social services. It will address the persisting issue of the misuse of social funds in emerging markets.
The second startup is also based in Mexico. Prescrypto, will improvise on the availability of electronic prescriptions by building a platform for patient medical histories.
Statwig is based in India and is creating a blockchain solution for the supply-chain management of vaccines to improve the efficiency of vaccine delivery
W3 Engineers, based in Bangladesh aim to connect migrant and refugee communities with an offline mobile networking platform that doesn’t need a sim card or stable internet connection.
Utopixar, based in Tunisia, is building a social tool for decision-making and the transfer of value which will be used by communities and other organisations.
Chris Fabian, Principal Adviser at UNICEF Innovation, said:
“Blockchain technology is still at an early stage — and there is a great deal of experimentation, failure, and learning ahead of us as we see how, and where, we can use this technology to create a better world.”
UNICEF’s Innovation Fund will not only provide product and growth assistance but also access to its network of experts and partners. In addition to its own seed-stage investment, it will also support startups with their second-round investment garnering. If the startups are successful in their venture they will further get an opportunity to take them to 190 countries covered by UNICEF.