South African publisher Carry1st has been accepted into Mastercard’s Start Path program. The program which is now in its sixth year is described as a springboard to help the best & brightest later stage startups maximize their opportunity for success.

The publisher will join nine other companies (with a primarily Fintech focus) from around the world and was selected because “it is bridging the digital divide by leveraging mobile technology, payment gateways and culturally relevant content to serve the first generation of African smartphone users.”

The financial juggernaut will work with these companies through a six-month program to co-innovate and uncover opportunities that leverage Mastercard’s technology, expertise and network to drive the future. Mastercard’s collaborative approach to innovation means investing in solutions that bring more people into the digital economy, instill trust, and secure every transaction and interaction.

With the accelerated shift to digital experiences and rapidly evolving consumer behaviors, COVID-19 has created an immediate need for innovative technology solutions, and partnership opportunities abound. In both developed and developing areas of the world, technology can be the difference between merely surviving and thriving.

Start Path companies will have an opportunity to connect to partners in Mastercard’s global ecosystem of banks and merchants as well as technology and digital players with the goal of scaling their businesses and delivering transformative solutions. With more than 250 startups in the Start Path program since its founding in 2014, these companies have gone on to raise $2.9 billion in post-program investments and are delivering solutions that are transforming the future of commerce.

The announcement will come as a major boost to the African gaming space which has in recent months steadily adopted a digital mindset.