UNICEF Venture Fund and Giga Call for Blockchain-based Software Solutions to Build Capacity and Empower Communities

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UNICEF works in the world’s toughest places to reach the most disadvantaged children and adolescents – and to protect the rights of every child, everywhere.
Across more than 190 countries and territories, we do whatever it takes to help children survive, thrive and fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence. 
The world’s largest provider of vaccines, we support child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, quality education and skill building, HIV prevention and treatment for mothers and babies, and the protection of children and adolescents from violence and exploitation.

Before, during and after humanitarian emergencies, UNICEF is on the ground, bringing lifesaving help and hope to children and families. Non-political and impartial, we are never neutral when it comes to defending children’s rights and safeguarding their lives and futures.

About The Challenge

The UNICEF Venture Fund, in collaboration with Giga is looking to make up to $100K equity-free investments (in cryptocurrency) to provide early stage (seed) financing and mentoring to for-profit technology startups that have the potential to benefit humanity.
Applicants will receive funding in cryptocurrency (bitcoin or ether) through our recently launched CryptoFund. Given the current global climate and a dramatic shift to a digital world as a result of COVID-19, open-source solutions that address critical needs for society are as important as ever.
If you have a start-up registered in one of UNICEF’s programme countries and have a working, open source blockchain prototype (or you are willing to make it open source) showing promising results, we are looking for you. 

What we're looking for

We are currently looking to invest in companies developing blockchain-based software solutions using cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, and various types of tokens, as well as learning and training initiatives to build capacity.

Our funding is not necessarily limited to the below. We are interested in companies that use distributed ledger tech in new, groundbreaking, ways that are scalable, and globally applicable.
If you meet the UNICEF Venture Fund criteria, we want to hear from you.

Examples of areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

Area 1
Improving accountability and transparency of services and payments


Area 2
New financing models and rewards


Area 3
Empower young people to engage actively in these new systems



UNICEF’s Venture Fund has been specifically designed to finance early stage, Open Source technology that can benefit children. The core motivation of the Venture Fund is to identify “clusters” or portfolios of initiatives around emerging technology - so that UNICEF can both shape markets and learn about and guide these technologies to benefit children. We invest in solutions clustered around $100 billion industries in frontier technology spaces, such as: blockchain, virtual and augmented reality, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.   

The Venture Fund is particularly seeking solutions that are:   

  • Addressing challenges to accelerate results for children.  
  • Optimized for low-resource environments (e.g. low connectivity, mobile access).  
  • Focus on reducing, rather than widening, inequalities.  
  • Able to deliver in multiple languages, including smaller languages. 


The UNICEF CryptoFund is a pooled fund of bitcoin and ether. It is a part of UNICEF's Venture Fund, with the distinction that investments made through the CryptoFund are denominated in crypto. By sharing the public records of crypto transfers, the CryptoFund aspires to create visibility for the donor and the public, adding a layer of transparent accounting to the donation and investment processes. The CryptoFund is a prototype fund for UNICEF to explore the use of digital currencies, and what it means to operate in a digitally financed future. 

Giga is a joint initiative launched by UNICEF and ITU in September 2019 to connect every school to the Internet and every young person to information, opportunity and choice. It uses schools as anchor points for their surrounding communities: if you connect schools, you can also connect local businesses and services. In particular, Giga leverages new technologies such as DS/AI and blockchain to improve efficiencies and create a transparent system to deliver connectivity to schools. 

More information

  • Read our FAQs about the process here
  • Review our scoring process here
  • Browse through previously funded projects here
  • For any questions regarding the application process, please write to us here 




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