UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) published a ‘blockchain call’ to startups a few months back with the primary aim of benefiting humanity, and has now, decided to invest in six blockchain startups.
Reportedly, UNICEF called early-stage startups registered in UNICEF’s program countries in January 2018 and received more than 100 applications from 50 different countries. The organization’s Innovation Fund already consists of 20 other technology companies working on virtual reality, drones, data science and machine learning and others.
New Investments to Form a Broader Blockchain Initiative for UNICEF
UNICEF Innovation Fund will make an investment of up to $100,000 in Atix Labs, Onesmart, Prescrypto, Statwig, Utopixar, and W3 Engineers, according to the announcement made on December 11.
UNICEF believes that the new investments will form a major part of its blockchain strategy and said:
“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.”
Blockchain Solutions to be Delivered Next Year
The startups are focused on a range of issues and located around the world.
Onesmart, headquartered in Mexico, is working to ensure the correct delivery of social funds and services to children and young people by scaling a prototype application.
While Prescrypto, also based in Mexico, aims to improve electronic prescriptions by building a platform to store the medical histories of patients
Atix Labs, another startup, is based in Argentina and offers a platform for small to medium-sized businesses to earn funding and track into where the funds are received and used.
Statwig is based in India and is working on a solution related to supply chain management to enable efficient vaccine delivery.
W3 Engineers based in Bangladesh aims to connect refugee communities and migrants with an offline mobile networking platform that requires neither a stable internet connection nor a sim card.
Utopixar is based in Tunisia and is building a social tool that will allow communities and organizations to use it for decision-making and the transfer of value.
All the chosen startups need to deliver open-source prototypes of their blockchain applications within the next 12 months.
According to Chris Fabian, the Principal Adviser at UNICEF Innovation:
“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.”
Assistance will be provided
The UNICEF’s Innovation Fund will support the startups and will help them grow by giving full access to global partners and experts. Not only this, but the humanitarian agency will also assist the startups in gaining second-round of investment. If the startups are successful in implementing the technologies, UNICEF might also provide them with an opportunity to implement them in 190 countries that the organization covers.