Eila, a young startup from Jordan, has been selected to proceed further to the finals of the global competition Visa’s Everywhere Initiative. Eila offers a service to help businesses sell on Facebook Messenger through chat. It competes in the ”Acceptance Challenge” category.
Established in 2016 in Jordan, Eila is a chatbot that automates sales processes. For instance, it could help F&B businesses selling their products on Facebook Messenger via a live chatbot that takes the order from you and ”gives” it to the cashier through Slack. The company makes profits from restaurant subscriptions. There are different packages, starting from US$50 a month.
The customers can talk to the chatbot as if it is a real human being. They enter a chat room; the bot gives the menu and the customer makes a choice. Afterwards, the restaurant gets notification from Slack and receives the phone number of the client to arrange the delivery.
The VISA jury shortlisted 13 out of 190 participants in total who would compete against fellow high tech young entrepreneurs from the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, and Pakistan. They would have the chance to win funding of up to US$ 50,000. In addition to that, the pioneering teams would present their ideas during the finals in Dubai on October 11.
VISA’s Everywhere Initiative consists of three real-life business challenges. The first one includes providing secure electronic payments for small businesses. The second one was related to air travel. It included tasks to transform the transit experience at the airports. The last one was about keeping customers, and building loyalty via the right offers at the right moment. All the participants submitted their ideas to resolve each challenge to VISA.
There would be one winner per brief, and each would receive funding of up to US$25,000. All the winners would meet VISA’s team to develop their ideas further. Some may get an offer to create a prototype. Afterwards, VISA would give additional funding of US$ 25,000 to the selected winner.
VISA’s Everywhere Initiative is a worldwide program to support Visa’s goals to provide cutting-edge payment technologies. Up to now, more than 1,500 fintech companies from different parts of the world have participated in the challenge. For the first time in its history, the program now takes place in the Middle East and North Africa. This year’s MENA edition of the initiative will finish on October 11 during the GITEX Technology Week Conference in Dubai. The winners will be announced at the final gala.