Nigerian e-commerce startup Podozi selected for 500 Startups

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Nigerian beauty and personal care e-commerce startup Podozi has become the latest African startup to win a place in the Silicon Valley-based 500 Startups accelerator programme, gaining US$125,000 in funding as a result.

The 500 Startups accelerator – launched by Silicon Valley veteran Dave McClure – is a four-month long programme, which sees thousands of applicants vying for intake and only two per cent successfully making the cut.

It has increasingly opened up to African startups in recent years, with Kenya’s CardPlanet – now PayKind – and Egypt’s ElWafeyat making it into batch 11, and South Africa’s SweepSouth and Ghana’s Kudobuzz making it into batch 14.

Podozi will take part in batch 16, which 500 Startups said generally has a focus on fintech, e-health, vicetech, HR and sportstech. The startup is backed by the Nairobi-based Savannah Fund, which also funded PayKind, and will join 52 other firms for the programme.

500 Startups also recently announced 500 Falcons, a US$30 million fund for investing in startups from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The fund will invest in promising new companies and founders in the MENA region, where 500 Startups already has over 30 existing investments, including in Egyptian startups Wuzzuf and Edfa3ly.

500 Falcons will have a target size of US$30 million and focus on seed stage investments of between US$50,000 and US$100,000.

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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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