LIVE: PIVOT East pitches: Utilities category

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East African mobile startup pitching competition PIVOT East is taking place in Nairobi, Kenya, today, with 25 startups to pitch throughout the day, spanning five competition categories. Here Disrupt Africa introduces the five startups who pitched in the utilities category.

African Fashion

A mobile platfom connecting fashion designers with customers, Tanzania’s African Fashion makes money through commissions and advertising. Designers are also able to pay for placement and visibility.

Apparently most of its competition is based in West Africa, but African Fashion claims to have a better user experience and interface. It has been downloaded 600 times, and has 100 active users per day. It is targeting 5 million users in East Africa alone, and is seeking US$80,000 and a strategic partner to help it do this.

Snapp Builder

Originally from Chile, Snapp Builder is Wix for apps. Allows users with no technical knowledge to build native apps, and has already build 3,000 in 73 countries since its October launch.

It is free to create apps, but Snapp Builder charges a one-off US$20 fee to publish and an annual US$100 app maintenance fee. There are competitors, but the startup is differentiated by the fact it is mobile first. Looking for local talent, knowledge and meaningful partnerships to help it establish itself in Kenya.

SoftBallot

A simple online voting system, taking only 15 minutes from setup to display results. Competition is manual voting system, and it is targeting universities for its rollout strategy.

There are 54 universities in Kenya, with 50,000 students. SoftBallot will charge discrimate amounts based on size and nature of customer, and wants to sign up 10 universities in next financial year. Looking for US$50,000 to boost this expansion.

Nikweli

A fundi (technician) on-demand platform from Tanzania, helps connect people with good fundis at good prices. Claims to be a matchmaker, a combination of AirBnB and Uber. Nikweli believes technology can create a meritocratic system where the best fundis will be promoted.

The startup has been piloting for the last two months, and now has a database of over 120 fundis. It has seen 90 per cent positive feedback, and earned 40 per cent of costs. Revenues come from a 10 per cent commission charge. It has already obtained investment from ALN Ventures, and is looking for a further US$200,000.

SafeMotos

An Uber-style platform that connects customers with motorcycle taxi drivers, SafeMotos has a strong focus on safety, collecting data on drivers and pushing less safe ones to the edge of the platform. The app, launched a few weeks ago, has 25 drivers and has already 300 trips.

SafeMotos believes it will break even in Rwanda with just 250 drivers, but describes the country as a “test kitchen” and says it plans to expand across Africa. It has already raised US$105,000 and is looking for a further US$120,000.

Check out the five startups that pitched in the entertainment category here.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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