South African fire detection startup Lumkani has won US$75,000 from Chivas Regal after taking part in its The Venture competition, in which it went head to head with other startups from across the world for a share in US$250,000 funding.
Disrupt Africa reported in May Lumkani was part of a public vote for the global competition after it won the South African leg, walking away with US$50,000 and chance to compete through a US$250,000 crowdfunding campaign.
The competition has now ended, after finalists pitched to a judging panel for the remaining share of the US$1 million fund. Lumkani won US$75,000, with rival finalists also walking away with cash. Discelar also won US$75,000, Chipsafer won US$150,000, SenSprout US$150,000, and Algramo US$300,000.
Lumkani sells early warning fire detection systems for informal settlements, and plans to expand outside of the Western Cape and across South Africa in the next few months.
The concept of the startup was based on research conducted by co-founder Francois Petousis for his thesis, which was then taken forward in light of a 2013 fire in Khayelitsha that left 4,000 people homeless.
An accelerated research and development phase began early last year when the startup received seed funding from South Africa’s Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) to prove its concept and value through a pilot project.