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Indian Two startups ZestMoney, Stellapps on World Economic Forum’s Tech Pioneers list

Bengaluru-based fintech startup ZestMoney, and dairy technology solutions startup Stellapps, have featured on World Economic Forum's list of 100 Technology Pioneers of 2020. Five-year-old ZestMoney, backed by Goldman Sachs, Ribbit Capital, Xiaomi and others, enables instant EMIs without credit card or CIBIL score.

Two Indian firms — ZestMoney and Stellapps — figure in a new list of Tech Pioneers released on Tuesday by the World Economic Forum (WEF) which described these 100 entities as future headline-makers addressing global issues with cutting-edge technology. From artificial intelligence (AI) to carbon capture, these companies are using innovations to protect the climate, improve healthcare and much more, helping us to reset society and build towards a better future, the WEF said.

“This year’s class of Technology Pioneers are improving society and advancing their industries around the world,” said Susan Nesbitt, Head of the Global Innovators Community at the Geneva-based organisation, which describes itself as an international organisation for public-private partnership. “These are the companies that think differently and stand out as potential game-changers. We’re looking forward to the role they’ll play in shaping the future of their industries,” she added.

Of the 100 firms selected, over one-quarter are female-led and these firms also come from diverse regions that stretch beyond traditional tech hubs, with companies using innovative technology in novel ways all around the world, the WEF said. About India’s ZestMoney, the WEF said the company is using its Technology to transform the financial services industry, offering affordable credit to those who are unable to access this through traditional finance paths. The company uses AI-based digital lending platform for disbursing affordable credit.

Stellapps, another Indian firm in the list, is a data-led, internet of things-based, farm-to-consumer dairy supply chain digitisation service provider. In Brazil, CargoX is digitizing trucking to optimize Logistics that can improve the livelihood of truckers in the country, while Kenya’s Twiga is lowering food costs in Africa by using B2B data to make food supply chains more efficient.

Other economies represented include Argentina, Austria, China, Chile, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan (China), Spain, the U.S. and the U.K.. The US-based Metawave is using AI and machine learning to enhance automotive sensors with the capability to make cars smarter and safer. The WEF said this year’s cohort selection also marks the 20th anniversary of the Technology Pioneers community. Many past recipients have gone on to become household names including, Airbnb, Google, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Palantir Technologies, Spotify, TransferWise, Twitter and Wikimedia.

Following their selections as Technology Pioneers, this year’s firms will be invited to participate at World Economic Forum workshops, events and high-level discussions throughout their two years in the community. Firms also have opportunities to work with policy-makers and private sector leaders to help define the global agenda on key issues.

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