10 African startups picked for Innotribe Startup Challenge

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Ten African fintech companies have been picked to compete in the SWIFT Innotribe Startup Challenge, which will see three companies picked to showcase their products in Canada and win US$10,000 in prize money.

Disrupt Africa reported in January the SWIFT Innotribe Startup Challenge was returning to Africa for a third edition, after South African startups Hello Paisa and The Sun Exchange, alongside Cameroon’s WeCashUp, were named winners of the 2016 installment.

Almost 100 applications were received for the challenge from 16 countries, with 10 startups now chosen to pitch their products and services at SWIFT’s African Regional Conference in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on May 17.

They include three startup’s from Nigeria, namely P2P lending platform FINT, payments startup IroFit, and invest-tech startup Releaf, as well as three from South Africa: financial inclusion service FinChatBot, farmer insurance platform Mobbisurance and security service ThisIsMe.

The list of completed by Ghanaian identity verification service Inclusiveft, Cameroonian fintech company Ovamba, Kenyan merchant’s platform Sokowatch, and Rwandan payments startup VugaPay.

The will now pitch at the May event, which will attract up to 500 high-level delegates from more than 40 countries. Each company will receive complimentary coaching sessions with seasoned entrepreneurs ahead of the formal pitches.

“It is a pleasure for us to see the number of African startups applying to our programme growing year after year. Their calibre continues to impress, and there is no doubt they are going to play an important role in shaping the future of finance,” said Fabian Vandenreydt, global head of securities markets at Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute at SWIFT.

“The Startup Challenge is an enriching experience for all participating companies. They benefit from expert mentoring and get that much needed exposure to financial institutions. We look forward to collaborating with another bunch of talented startups, and start this year’s journey in Abidjan.”

After the pitches, the audience will vote for the three best startups. They will be invited to Sibos, SWIFT’s annual global financial services conference, which takes place in October in Toronto, and will also receive a US$10,000 cash prize each.

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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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