Auckland-based AI software company Aider will make New York its virtual home over the next six months, after winning a spot in the Mastercard Start Path programme.
Aider was the only New Zealand startup selected as part of the programme, beating out more than 400 other applications to join nine other startups from around the world.
The Start Path programme is designed for later-stage fintechs to help them scale through the Mastercard network's global reach and expertise.
“Being selected for Start Path is validation that we are building a truly game-changing solution for small businesses around the globe,” says Aider founder - CEO, Brendan Roberts.
Aider has been celebrating a successful 2019 so far – just recently the company announced it will work with Westpac Bank in New Zealand.
The collaboration brings conversational assistance to Westpac's SMB customers.
“We believe in human-centric AI and created Aider to give small business owners easy access to the information they need to make better business decisions,” says Aider cofounder, Pete Weaver.
“With the Aider app, you simply ask for what you want – whether it's your total expenditure for the last week or your top selling products for the day – and get instant access to the data you need.
Westpac NZ's head of digital Ventures, Lewis Billinghurst, adds that SMBs make up 97% of New Zealand businesses.
“We see great value in being able to introduce SMBs to artificial intelligence in an easily-consumed format,” adds Billinghurst.
Aider explains that it currently targets the retail and hospitality market in Australasia, with plans to expand to different industries and locations.
Mastercard New Zealand and Pacific Islands country manager Ruth Riviere says all organisations need support during their growth periods.
“At a certain stage in their growth all organisations need support, connections and expertise from those who have been there before. This is where Mastercard Start Path delivers value to a global platform of elite startups, as Mastercard uses its network and expertise to support their scale.”
“The program relentlessly scours the globe for startups that offer tried and tested solutions and show a readiness for scale, so Mastercard is thrilled to see New Zealand-based Aider among the next wave of the programme."
Aider joined the nine other Start Path participants in New York to ignite its collaboration and set a blueprint for the next six months. The blueprint will include tailored programs, operational support and commercial engagements within the Mastercard ecosystem.
“This opportunity will give Aider access to high profile relationships, expertise and partnerships which will help us grow to a global scale,” concludes Roberts.