Announcing our ILP-Based Financial Services Research and Development Grants
Oct 10, 2022
The Interledger Foundation champions advocacy for Interledger, an open protocol that permits frictionless payments and micropayments across currencies and ledgers, enabling opportunities for broader global financial inclusion. Our mission is to build equitable pathways to financial access and digital participation.
Funded projects range from a coalition of credit unions in rural Mexico, tooling to measure impact investing, a program to facilitate cross-border small business loans, and other ideas to expand how people can benefit from the Interledger Protocol.
To build on our mission and goals, we will need more people to experiment and innovate in the Interledger-enabled network, so we are thrilled to announce twelve recipients of our Financial Services awards. These twelve projects will receive funds to cover 6-months of research to explore compelling use cases for ILP-enabled digital wallets, neobanks and community platforms.
We were thrilled by the response we had to this award program and are excited to support these projects as they learn, grow and build in the Interledger ecosystem. It is mission critical that we expand the ILP network and activate nodes throughout the globe who will open up new opportunities to expand financial inclusion. I am proud that these projects demonstrate the diversity in our ecosystem and support our core belief that we need the people experiencing the problems to be imagining solutions. - Briana Marbury, ILF Executive Director.
Submitted projects came through a global call for proposals launched in June and were reviewed by a panel of judges made up of staff and partners of the Interledger Foundation. Successful grantees in our newest cohort come from ten different countries.
Follow the work of all our past and present grantees on the Interledger Foundation Community Space.
MyWalletGuru, LLC, USA
Wallet Guru is an American financial technology company operating digital currency payment solutions with an initial focus on Latin America. The company is developing a payment streaming platform called Paystreme that enables users to pay in real-time for services. Users can send payments per second as they consume services such as cell phone coverage, broadband internet, pay TV, and content streaming platforms.
BessPay is an affordable subscription-based content monetization & hassle-free payment service for creators in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.
It connects creators to Interledger Protocol-enabled platforms and services through Mobile Carrier Billing & other local digital payment solutions.
BessPay aims to enable most Jamaicans and Caribbean nationals with mobile phones to participate in the emerging global digital economy through Content Creation, Web Monetization, and open payment systems.
BITKE Blockchain Consultancy Ltd, Kenya
ENEZA will provide the general public with the potential to access microcredit capabilities. Due to high interest rates and compliance measures, most people don’t qualify for microlending services. This solution will expose Microfinance Institutions and Co-operative Societies to global Web3 lending sources with off-chain collateralization and credit scores. ENEZA seeks to be the transformative gateway for these sectors, acting as enablers for poverty alleviation, prioritizing women in low-income households and rural areas, unemployed youth, and persons living with a disability.
MUDA OTC Escrow
Muda ventures, Uganda
Building an FX liquidity marketplace infrastructure that will ease the pain points of cross-border payments, MUDA is looking to digitize the process by implementing a solution that will apply the ILP technology to digitize and improve the way the current cross-border liquidity is aggregated, managed, and utilized.
Snake Nation As- A-Tier 1 ILPS
Snake Nation. PYT.Ltd, South Africa/USA
One of the significant current gaps in the ILP network is the ability to use a Tier 1 ILP-capable wallet on the continent and the major countries In Europe, South East - Asia, and Southern America. While developing such a protocol is a step forward in finding solutions for financial inclusion, it also increases the financial literacy of the M2 banked, underbanked and unbanked communities of the global south.
The People's Clearinghouse
AMUCSS Mexican Association of Credit Unions of the Social Sector, Mexico
The People's Clearinghouse is a social innovation project to benefit the broader public, specifically rural and indigenous people who have organized themselves into co-ops. Millions of co-op account holders have been historically excluded from the Mexican payment system. As a result they must deal with time-consuming and risky travel to access their money in cash. This project intends to research how the clearinghouse can be a successful connector for small rural co-ops of Mexico to the Mexican central bank and among themselves using the Interledger Protocol.
An Inclusive Payment Network for the Unbanked and Underbanked in Myanmar
ThitsaWorks, incorporated in Singapore and Myanmar
ThitsaWorks provides solutions to power financial inclusion, currently focusing on the digital transformation of the Myanmar microfinance sector through enabling digital payments and building their capacities to implement digital strategies. In this project, ThitsaWorks will conduct research and development to build a prototype of a connector, which will enable Tier-2 and Tier-3 financial institutions, including low-capacity financial institutions such as microfinance institutions, non-banks, mobile money, and rural banks, to participate in an interoperable real-time payment network. This project seeks to address for the lack of interoperability, siloed networks and inaccessibility of services for unbanked and underbanked in Myanmar.
Divao LLC, USA
Cheeri helps social purpose organizations, impact funders, and investors create, manage, measure, and fund impact-driven projects. Cheeri aims to make impact funding and investing scalable through automated reimbursement based on impact metrics. Using ILP, Cheeri enables the exchange of social, environmental, and other common-good impacts for currencies, including fiat and crypto. For example, when an impact funder decides to fund a social purpose organization, they can create a dedicated impact token that the funded organization can redeem for their currency of choice.
Kult's ILP Open-Source Digital Wallet
Kult (Paginas Esbeltas LLC), Brazil/Portugal
Kult is a social platform for curating movies, TV series, books, podcasts, and songs that promote diverse cultural exchange between people and communities. With the mission of bringing value to human curation, it aims to create an open-source digital wallet that any platform can easily replicate. Focusing on financial inclusion for the Brazilian population, it also seeks to integrate the wallet with the PIX structure – an instant and free electronic payment method offered by the Central Bank of Brazil with over 130 million users per month. Although being developed on Kult initially, the benefits of such innovation would be much broader, as it would allow anyone to implement the same wallet on their platforms and start monetizing people online. Therefore, Kult would be creating a tool that provides platforms with an accessible way to allow peer-to-peer monetization using ILP.
CryptoSavannah is a digital transformation company building technology solutions and providing advisory services to usher Africa into the digital economy. The Universal Wallet is a solution that addresses problems of delays, inefficiency, and inadequacy of existing programs in loyalty and rewards programs. The solution is a single digital wallet, a simple mobile application on a phone where rewards are captured and easily managed. The Universal Wallet will also be an entry point to identity, the cornerstone of the digital economy, while creating an interoperable platform to facilitate a wide range of financial applications. The platform seeks to extend financial inclusion by enabling people to have a wallet that accepts value, stores it, and can be used for transactions. With the ILP potentially enabling transactions, the platform can be used by many entities, from supermarkets, telecoms, utility providers, and insurance companies to health service providers.
COOL LION FI
Direct Impact Partners (BRAND NAME: COOL LION FINANCE), Côte d'Ivoire
COOL LION FI aims to secure a full-stack license (money transmitter/electronic money/microfinance license) for Francophone Africa through which businesses can earn, buy, sell, trade, and share cross-borders. As a node in the Interledger Network with valid local licenses, the goal is to facilitate cross-border business equipment loans sourced from foreign fiat and crypto lenders and reach businesses in Africa.
Spendies B.V., Netherlands
AgnostiPay's open-source technology allows the community of developers to take control of payments and enable Self-Sovereign Payments for their end-users - empowered by ILP. The project does not focus on creating a single node within a particular country but makes the possibility for developers to enable thousands of users in using ILP-nodes for self-sovereign payments, using a single piece of open-source code by leveraging the end-user credentials. The value unlocked by ILP-empowered AgnostiPay technology opens up the ILP network for additional payments. It can be used in many situations, such as e-commerce, mobile apps, and fintech infrastructures.