Nigerian, Kenyan startups join Katapult Accelerator


Nigerian fintech startup SimbaPay and Kenyan e-health startup ConnectMed are among the 12 companies selected to take part in the Norway-based Katapult Accelerator, which provides three months of training, access to investors and partnerships, and up to US$150,000 in funding.

This is the second edition of the Katapult Accelerator, which the 12 startups selected from an applicant pool of 1,500 impact-focused startups from all over the world.

The startups will spend three months in Oslo and go through an intensive programme to leverage their impact. They will have access to more than 120 international mentors, and hands-on support from the Katapult Accelerator team.

Nigeria’s SimbaPay is a mobile app that allows users to send money to friends, family and merchants, while Kenya’s ConnectMed has launched an in-pharmacy telehealth service that harnesses machine learning to utilise healthcare workers intelligently.

They are joined by 10 other startups from countries including India, Singapore, the United States (US), Spain, the United Kingdom (UK), Turkey, South Korea, Sweden, Norway and Iceland.

“The Katapult Accelerator is a fast-paced and hands-on programme to help build and scale startups that can solve environmental or societal challenges through exponential technologies. Our goal for each company is to prepare them for their next round of investment, so that they achieve two to three times their original valuation,” said Haakon Brunell, managing partner and co-founder of Katapult Accelerator.

Of the 12 startups that took place in the first edition of the programme, 11 raised additional funding.

“The Katapult Accelerator helped us understand and define our reason-for-being and we became laser focused on the next steps of the startup journey,” said Martin Majlund, chief operating officer (COO) and co-founder of Kenya’s Sky.Garden, one of the startups accepted by Katapult in 2017. Sky.Garden recently closed a US$1.2 million funding round, at a valuation of US$4 million.

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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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