Story image

Kiwi company selected for global startup programme 

A New Zealand AI software firm has been named as one of 10 startups across the globe to be selected to take part in Mastercard's Start Path programme. 

Co-founded in Auckland in 2017 by Brendan Roberts and Pete Weaver, Aider is an AI-enabled mobile, digital assistant for smarter business. It is the first New Zealand startup to be selected for Mastercard's programme since it launched in 2014. 

The Mastercard Start Path programme, part of Mastercard Labs, enables later-stage FinTech startups to rapidly scale through access to Mastercard’s network of experts and global reach.

Aider was chosen from over 400 applications for the latest wave from startups, and will join a group of +200 Start Path participants. Collectively these companies have gone on to raise more than US $1.4 billion in capital and work with some of the world’s largest organisations.

“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.

“This opportunity will give Aider access to high profile relationships, expertise and partnerships, which will help us grow to a global scale," he says.

 Mastercard New Zealand and Pacific Islands country manager, Ruth Riviere, says it’s exciting to see innovation in New Zealand recognised globally.

“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," she says. 

“The programme 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," says Riviere.

The announcement adds to a huge start to 2019 for Aider, which last month announced a high-profile collaboration with New Zealand’s Westpac to bring human-centric AI and digital assistance to Westpac’s small business banking experience.   

 Aider joined the nine other Start Path participants in New York this week to ignite its collaboration and set a blueprint for the next six months, which will include tailored programmes, operational support and commercial engagements within the Mastercard ecosystem.