Fintech startup MaTontine was named winner of the Senegal round of the global Seedstars World competition over the weekend, earning the chance to represent the country at the global final in Switzerland next year to compete for up to US$1 million in equity investment.
Early-stage startups competition Seedstars World is hosting local events across Africa this year, and has already picked winners in Mozambique, Tunisia, Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Ghana.
Its event in Dakar, Senegal took place with the support of Groupe Cofina last Friday at the Pullman Teranga Hotel, with nine selected startups presenting their ideas in front of a local jury panel.
MaTontine emerged the overall winner for its solution that provides access to small loans and related financial services like microinsurance by digitising traditional savings circles. The startup will now participate at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland in April 2018, a week-long training programme where the team will meet the other 75 winners as well as investors and mentors from around the world.
Traditionally, the final day of the summit is dedicated to pitching in front of an audience of 1,000 attendees, with the possibility of winning up to the US$1 million equity investment and other prizes.
Bayseddo, a platform that allows farmers to finance their crop year, came second, with PayDunya, a one-stop-shop to create, manage and grow sales on social networks, grabbed the last spot in the top three. The other startups invited to pitch were ADN Africa, Direct Solution, Sika Technologie, Sanar Soft, Skillake, and Carvi Writer.
“Global competitions such as Seedstars World are key to Dakar’s emerging startup ecosystem. SSW Dakar now stands as a major event in our ecosystem’s agenda. It gives regional and global exposure to our best entrepreneurs, which is key to attracting key players like investors to our ecosystem,” said Babacar Birane from Concree, the local Seedstars ambassador.