UNICEF’s Cryptocurrency Fund pings ETH to educational emerging economy startups

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The UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund has announced its latest graduates for funding, with a focus on technology providers in developing and emerging economies.

The fund will invest 125 ETH – around $30,000 USD – in eight companies, part of a wider group of 40 startups which have graduated from UNICEF’s innovation fund: Afinidata, Avyantra, Cireha, Ideasis, OS City, StaTwig, Somleng, and Utopic.

Afinidata, based in Guatemala, has an AI-based app which provides parents with personalised educational activities for young children, while India-based Avyantra offers a health app which supports healthcare workers in the diagnosis of sepsis. Cireha, from Argentina, has an app which helps children with speech impairments, while Turkey-based Ideasis is looking to transition its therapy tool from VR to WebVR and Chile-based Utopic is doing the same for its learning game.

Of the two blockchain-predominant startups, OS City, based out of Mexico, focuses on blockchain-based government assets for educational diplomas, while StaTwig is piloting its blockchain app to improve the delivery of rice in India – a more persistent concern amid the Covid-19 pandemic. In the same manner, Somleng, in Cambodia, is scaling its interactive voice response platform to help send information about the crisis.

UNICEF, which has been proactive in using blockchain technologies for funding as well as assessing startups in the space, noted the medium’s convenience at a pivotal time for the companies.

“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,” said Chris Fabian, senior adviser and co-lead at UNICEF Ventures. “The transfer of these funds too 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,” added Fabian.

This publication reported in October on the launch of UNICEF’s cryptocurrency fund which enabled the agency to receive, hold and disburse donations. At the start of this year, Ethereum Classic Labs committed $1m towards launching a key partnership with UNICEF’s innovation fund.

Interested in hearing more in person? Find out more at the Blockchain Expo World Series, Global, Europe and North America.  

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