3 startups win $50k equity investment at MEST Africa Challenge

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Three African tech startups have each secured US$50,000 in equity investment, as well as US$25,000 Microsoft credit, after being named winners of the second edition of the MEST Africa Challenge.

Run by pan-African training programme, seed fund, incubator and hub the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), the MEST Africa Challenge was aimed at post-revenue, tech-enabled startups that want to expand into new markets.

Five finalists were selected for the challenge, which was won last year by Nigerian smart accounting platform Accounteer, with the final taking place at the end of the fourth annual MEST Africa Summit, which took place in Nairobi on Wednesday.

Three startups were named winners, taking home US$50,000 in equity investment from MEST and US$25,000 in credit from Microsoft. They were Ghanaian startup OZÉ, a data insights company that helps businesses make data-driven financial decisions; South African real-time cybersecurity platform Snode Technologies; and Kenyan startup WayaWaya, a fintech company that provides seamless transactions into and within Africa for individuals and businesses.

The other two startups competing were Nigerian sports community AMPZ.TV and Ivory Coast-based agri-tech financing platform Seekewa.

The event saw entrepreneurs, investors, ecosystem players and executives from across Africa and the globe meet to explore innovations and rising stars in the African tech ecosystem. Panellists discussed a range of topics, while there were keynotes from MEST founder Jorn Lyseggen, Microsoft’s Chris Lwanga, and Lori Systems’ Josh Sandler.

“It’s our fourth year running the summit and it always serves as a reminder of what Africa can achieve with the right blend of talent and experience. Over the three days, it’s always amazing to observe how the relationships between attendees grow, and the fact that we are able to facilitate that is something we never take for granted,” said Aaron Fu, managing director at MEST Africa.

“We started this with the aim of creating a space for honest discussions on how the continent can continue to move forward and markets can come together – my personal hope is that we continue to see this grow and that more collaborations across markets take shape.”

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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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