Five startups were selected from last week’s DEMO Africa pitching event in Lagos, Nigeria to pitch at the prestigious DEMO Fall event in Silicon Valley later in the year.
After two days of pitches on the DEMO Africa stage, five startups were picked to travel to DEMO Fall: Kenyan money transfer service SimbaPay, Nigerian fashion marketplace Zuvaa, Kenyan insurance comparison platform InsureAfrika, car and car parts marketplace CarPartsNigeria, and Kenyan merchant payments solution BambaPOS.
DEMO Fall describes itself as the “premier venue for launching new technology”, and involves general sessions, one-on-one demonstrations and networking. Last year, Nigerian online SME marketing platform SpacePointe, Nigerian device manufacturer Nerve Mobile, Ghanaian mobile money payroll system PaySail and Kenyan airtime service Chura all travelled to Silicon Valley to pitch at the event.
“You could feel the energy and excitement of the startups as they were really living some of their dreams and you felt how humbled most were as they could not believe they were actually in Lagos,” DEMO Africa said of this year’s event in Nigeria, which saw a record number of applications and was sponsored by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Legatum Centre for Development and Entrepreneurship and Microsoft.
Director general of Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Peter Jack congratulated the startups.
“We are excited at the opportunities that technology has presented to our African youths in creating jobs and wealth. This is a great moment in the history of Africa, steadily rising to establish its digital footprint in the world,” he said.