Kenyan startups raise funding from blockchain accelerator

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Kenyan startups UTU Technologies and RideSafe have secured funding after taking part in the Sofia-based æternity Starfleet Incubator for blockchain startups.

Disrupt Africa reported earlier this month UTU, which has developed a machine learning algorithm optimised for trust, and RideSafe, which provides health services to motorcycle taxi drivers, has made it into the final cohort of æternity.

æternity and æternity Ventures, which oversees the global incubator programmes and partnerships, have now announced that the nine projects that made it to the final will receive a combined US$1.3 million in investment.

UTU, which also raised funding from Hong Kong-based accelerator Zeroth in April, received US$200,000, as well as an additional US$50,000 from æternity Ventures’ partner network as a number of investment funds and angel investors followed the event online.

A Croatian startup took home US$150,000, while the remaining funds were distributed amongst the remaining teams, which include Ride Safe.

“Even being invited to take part in the final event of æternity Starfleet was a huge privilege for our team, and winning the top prize is vindication for our tireless efforts to date. This is a strong vote of confidence from one of the leading authorities within the blockchain sphere, and æternity’s support has been incredibly beneficial during the Starfleet programme,” said Jason Eisen, chief executive officer (CEO) of UTU Technologies.

“We are beyond excited to continue working with the æternity Ventures team, and look forward to taking our project to the next level with their guidance and vision.”

Nikola Stojanow, CEO of æternity Ventures, said he had been very impressed by the passion, dedication, and far-reaching potential of the teams that made it to the final.

“The finalists have demonstrated an innate ability to take our feedback and fine-tune their business model and roadmap accordingly. I’m very excited to see the project progress to the next phase of development,” he said.

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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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