At Santander, we always look to the future. And this time, it’s with the winners of the Santander X Global Challenge | Blockchain and Beyond, a global contest to find the best startups and scaleups with innovative, scalable blockchain solutions.

The awards ceremony with the six best startups and scaleups from 11 countries reflected Santander’s zeal for new technology. It aired live in the metaverse in Decentraland, with a space designed and customized by Polygonal Mind.  

Sneak peak at the awards ceremony in Decentraland in the metaverse.

The innovativeness of the winning contestants’ solutions was outstanding. All of them were designed to increase user privacy and security on blockchain networks, and to boost decentralized finance, tokenization and better online interactions on Web3 and the metaverso.

Of the +400 competing entities, six took home the prize money of EUR 120,000 (EUR 10,000 for each startup and EUR 30,000 for each scaleup) and membership to Santander X 100, an exclusive global entrepreneurial community that connects the most prominent startups and scaleups with the resources they need to grow: advice and training, capital, clientele and talent.  Two scaleups won honourable mention, which includes membership to Santander X 100.

Winners of Santander X Global Challenge | Blockchain and Beyond
Winners of Santander X Global Challenge | Blockchain and Beyond

Argentine innovators and American entrepreneurs took centre stage, winning two of the six awards and one of the two honourable mentions. Contestants from UK and Spain won startup and scaleup awards, respectively. Here are the winners:

Startup category winners
Startup category winners

Startup category

To be eligible for the Startup category, solutions needed up to USD 300,000 in sales, between USD 100,000 and USD 1 million in capital investment, and up to 25 employees. The winners were:

  • Prosperas (US): Financial inclusion for excluded people from the financial system. Prosperas harnesses anonymized behavioural metadata from mobile phones to create an accurate alternative credit score on a blockchain-based, machine learning-enabled platform. 

We've been in the weeds developing the platform for a number of years, going out into very challenging markets to sell our product. And the fact that an organization like Santander recognizes there’s value in what were providing to the market is a tremendous honour and a privilege.

David Conrad Rocha, Prosperas CEO

  • Finteum LTD (UK): Global interbank treasury platform for intraday FX swaps and repo. Rather than replicating existing transactions on ledger, its platform uses DLT and settlement methods to create a way for bank treasury teams to optimize intraday liquidity usage.

  • Agrotoken (Argentina): A blockchain company that was the first to create stable coins backed by agro-commodities. By creating stable coins enabled by blockchain and smart contracts, we create new, unique and improved products that will satisfy all financial needs.

Scaleup category winners
Scaleup category winners

Scaleup category

To be eligible for this category, solutions needed to be legally incorporated for at least 2 years in one of the participating countries, with annual sales above USD 300,000, over USD 1 million in capital investment, and more than 25 employees. The three winners are:

  • Validated ID (Spain): A qualified trust service provider, Validated ID wants to solve the digital identity problem on the Internet with decentralized, blockchain-based identities. Users can manage all their personal information in an ID wallet, just like in the physical world, but with more security.

  • Xcapit (Argentina): A self-custodial, open-code wallet to invest in DeFi products. With UNICEF, Xcapit has created an open-source, self-custodial wallet people can use to save money and invest in decentralized finance products without needing to be banked or having financial skills. 

Building in Web3 is a community issue, so being part of this community is, first of all, an honour for us. Afterwards, it can bring collective value. And I’m sure it will be really powerful for the social and economic impact that we’re trying to bring to Latin America.

José Ignacio Trajtenberg, CEO and co-founder of XCapit

  • Almond Fintech (US): An international remittance company enabling payments with blockchain. It’s building an API for financial and non-financial institutions worldwide, so individuals can send money across borders affordably, quickly and securely. Almond manages remittances with stablecoins through local partners and conforms to local regulation. 

Honourable mentions

In addition to the three winners of this category, the jury of international business and innovation exports and bank executives, gave two honourable mentions for innovativeness and practicality:

  • Origino (Argentina): Tokenization to track supply chains. Origino’s NFT solution makes any product in a supply chain easier to track. It also gives proof that products exist, which can be used as a guarantee to obtain credit and insurance, unlocking a trillion-dollar market.

  • Valora (US): Mobile crypto wallet that enables global payments, easy access to decentralized finance apps and fund transfers to any phone number in the world. The only thing users need is a phone number.

The awards ceremony was closed by Javier Roglá, global head of Santander Universities, who said “Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the world; but it has a long way to go to become part of our day to day.  That’s why at Santander we wanted to launch this challenge: to give full support to those innovating this technology”.

Roglá ended his remarks pointing out that “It was an extremely competitive challenge that wasn’t in the least bit easy for the jury who selected the winners. I would like to thank everyone for their exceptional effort, especially the mentors, evaluators and everyone behind this incredible initiative”.

Banco Santander and its support for higher education

Banco Santander, the leader in responsible banking, is firmly committed to progress and inclusive sustainable growth. Through Santander Universities, it has been a pioneering stalwart of education, entrepreneurship and employment for 25 years, standing out among the world's financial institutions. So far, Santander has helped some 790,000 students, professionals, start-ups and SMEs with over 2.1 billion euros and partnerships with more than 1,000 universities in 15 countries.

You might like