Startupbootcamp AfriTech cohort secures 20 corporate pilot agreements

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The 10 startups that took part in the just-concluded Startupbootcamp AfriTech programme in Cape Town secured a total of 20 pilot agreements with corporates and have secured EUR600,000 (US$680,000) in funding to date.

Disrupt Africa reported in July that 10 African tech startups had been selected to take part in the second edition of the Cape Town-based, corporate-backed Startupbootcamp AfriTech accelerator, with each securing EUR15,000 (US$17,500) in funding and access to mentors and partners.

These startups showcased to over 200 investors and corporate leaders at a demo day yesterday (November 8), where it was announced a total of 20 pilot agreements had been signed, while the startups had generated EUR600,000 in funding so far.

Ivory Coast-based insurtech startup Digitech announced a partnership with SAHAM, the largest insurance company in West and Central Africa, while South African  mobility-as-a-service platform Lüla announced several large corporate offices in the Cape Town area will now be using its shuttle service for employees, including Aurecon, V&A Waterfront, RCS and Old Mutual.

Kenya’s MPost, a patented technology that enables any mobile phone user to transform their phone into a unique mobile postal address and mobile postal box, has had early pilot discussions in four African countries, and is in the process of closing multiple deals with both corporate and government entities.

South Africa’s Brandbook, a decentralised rewards programme, conducted a pilot with Unilever that resulted in over 1,000 receipts being analysed, while Pago, an MNO-driven online payments processor, has integrated with Mastercard’s Masterpass API.

Another South African startup, savings platform Akiba Digital, announced a PoC with RCS, while Nigerian startup Kudimoney has run a beta version with 10,000 people that ended up saving more than US$300,000 in goal-based savings.

Apart from the key startup announcements of the day, Startupbootcamp AfriTech itself announced a new collaboration with Uprise Africa.

“Our demo day is about showcasing our incredible startups from this year’s cohort, and linking them to potential investors. As part of the focus of supporting startups, we are excited to announce our partnership with Uprise.Africa, the first equity crowdfunding platform in South Africa to link great startups to alternative funding solutions,” said Zachariah George, co-founder of Startupbootcamp AfriTech.

“This year we validated that our accelerator can help corporates scale internal innovation capabilities and turn those into spin-out companies, like the startup Sizanani that participated in our accelerator programme,” said Philip Kiracofe, co-founder of Starttupbootcamp AfriTech.

The 2018 startup cohort for the first time included a corporate startup from Unilever. The company enrolled a small internal team with the aim to reignite “the founder’s mentality” into its innovation thinking, as well as integrate a truly “lean startup” approach to new product development. The agile startup Sizanani, a stokvel solution for bulk buying, is already post-revenue.

“We’re were very excited to be able to trial and pilot this approach to demonstrate that innovative corporations with the proper resources and the proper support can take internal ideas and develop that as innovation capability within the organisation,” said Kiracofe.

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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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