As part of its commitment to collaborate with industry partners, Mastercard welcomed five new startups to Start Path Global – the company’s global initiative supporting innovative later-stage startups reshaping the future of commerce. The program is open to startups who are rethinking banking and payments and have raised a significant seed or Series A round of investment.

Tobias Puehse, Vice President, Innovation Management, Digital Payments and Labs, Asia Pacific, Mastercard said, “Launching actual solutions for our customers in partnership with startups is always an exciting journey for us. We’re looking forward to working with the best startups in Asia Pacific as well as help them rapidly achieve scale through Start Path Global. It’s a great time to be collaborating to help tackle real problems as we work together to build revolutionary financial solutions and commerce experiences in Asia Pacific.”

Since its launch in 2014, Start Path Global has seen much success in Asia Pacific. Home to a thriving startup scene, the region has produced more than 77 sign-ups in Start Path’s 2017 spring wave alone.

One such firm is Fluid AI, which combines artificial intelligence and augmented reality to help banks and retailers create next generation user experiences in-branch and in-store. One of three artificial intelligence (AI) focused startups joining this 2017 spring wave, it employs AI to design a variety of retail innovations, including solutions to analyze consumer behavior, enhance in-store or in-branch customer engagement, and compute bill and payment data.

To date, Start Path has received interest from more than 5,000 startups, and worked with 100 companies across 24 countries. Through the first four classes, 20 percent of the participants have worked with Mastercard in commercial engagements.