Inaugural Barclays Accelerator programme in Africa concludes

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The first edition of the Barclays Accelerator programme to be held in Africa, powered by Techstars, has drawn to a close with 10 startups showcasing their fintech businesses at a demo day in Cape Town.

Disrupt Africa reported in October Barclays was bringing its accelerator programme, which is already active in the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK), to Cape Town.

The first class of 10 startups was announced in April, and have since undergone a 13-week programme involving intensive networking, mentoring and development.

The intensive startup programme was designed to capture, shape and scale the next generation of innovative fintech businesses, drawing upon mentors from across Barclays and the Techstars network.

An audience of more than 400 including investors, industry experts, fintech specialists, as well as Absa and Barclays executives attended the demo day to hear how the startups are tackling different challenges on the African continent.

“As Barclays Africa we are committed to driving leading fintech innovation that translates into lifestyle-enabling products and services for our customers, and creates greater financial inclusion across the continent,” said Paul Nel, head of open innovation at Barclays Africa.

“We are thrilled with the quality of the ventures. This first-ever cohort to participate in the Barclays Accelerator programme in Africa has set the bar very high. They richly deserve the opportunity to showcase their businesses at the demo day, and attempt to secure further investment and signed POCs.”

Yossi Hasson, managing director of Techstars in Cape Town, said the Barclays Accelerator showed why it is the pre-eminent fintech accelerator in world.

“This Africa class will now join the Techstars global ecosystem which spans 15,000 community leaders, mentors, founders and investors across 137 countries,” he said.

The 10 startups include Kenya’s iNuka Pap, a mobile platform that partners with credit co-operatives to allow their members to conveniently deposit, withdraw and access instant micro-loans as well as access other credit services, Tanzanian micro-insurance platform Edge Point, and South African parking solutions app WizzPass.

The other African startups that took part in the programme are Ghanaian church management solution Asoriba, Nigerian lending platform Social Lender, and Uganda’s Tech4Farmers, which provides farmers with real-time access to market information.

There were also four non-African businesses in the programme: US companies BenBen and Beyonic, UK startup SimbaPay, and Lebanese startup Re-Able.

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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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