UNICEF Innovation Fund invests $100k into Tunisia’s startup Utopixar
Utopixar, a Tunisian startup set to deliver a social collaboration tool for communities and organisations to facilitate participative decision-making and value transfer has received up to $100,000 from UNICEF to improve the lives of the country’s most vulnerable children.
The startup is was among the six companies in developing and emerging economies that will receive the investment from UNICEF’s Innovation Fund to solve global challenges using blockchain technology. The other startups included AtixLabs,Onesmart, Prescrypto, Statwig, andW3 Engineers and were set to deliver open-source prototypes of blockchain applications within 12-months. They join 20 other technology startups currently under management by the Fund in fields from data science and machine learning, to virtual reality, to drones.
Atix Labs from Argentina will develop a platform for small to medium-sized enterprises to gain access to funding while creating traceability into where the funds are used and measuring the impact. Mexico’s Onesmart will address the misappropriation of funds in emerging markets with the scale of its prototype application, which ensures the delivery of state-provided social services to children and young people.
Prescrypto also from Mexico will provide a digital solution to the lack of electronic prescriptions in developing countries with a platform that allows medical services providers to view one common history of a patient, and improve the level of care.
India’s Statwig will use blockchain solutions to ensure the efficient delivery of vaccines through an enhanced supply-chain management system.
Bangladesh’s W3 Engineers will improve connectivity within the refugee and migrant communities through an offline mobile networking platform without the use of sim cards and internet connection.
The investments are part of UNICEF’s larger blockchain explorations of 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.
In addition to funding the start-up companies, UNICEF’s Innovation Fund will provide product and technology assistance, support with business growth, and access to a network of experts and partners. The Fund also actively seeks second-round investment and support for companies it has invested in, as well as the opportunity to scale-up these technologies, when they are successful, in the more than 190 countries and territories where UNICEF operates.