Five startups from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Ivory Coast have been named finalists of the MEST Africa Challenge, the winner of which will secure US$50,000 in equity investment.
Run by pan-African training programme, seed fund, incubator and hub the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), the MEST Africa Challenge is aimed at post-revenue, tech-enabled startups that want to expand into new markets.
Fifty startup from across the continent pitched at regional finals in Accra, Nairobi, Lagos, Cape Town and Abidjan last week, with the winner of each local event now proceeding to the grand final, which will take place at the MEST Africa Summit in Nairobi on June 10-12. There, they will pitch on stage for up to US$50,000 in equity investment and the opportunity to join the pan-African MEST incubator community.
South Africa will be represented by real-time cybersecurity platform Snode Technologies and Ivory Coast by agri-tech financing platform Seekewa, while home advantage will be held by Kenyan startup WayaWaya, a fintech company that provides seamless transactions into and within Africa for individuals and businesses.
“The winning startups stood out as a result of their impressive revenue growth and potential for expansion. There has been a growing number of companies who have managed to scale in a variety of sectors, so this investment will be vital in aiding these companies to join this expanding group,” said MEST Africa managing director Aaron Fu.
The winner of the final will be the second company to join MEST Africa’s portfolio without going through the MEST training programme, joining last year’s winner, Nigerian smart accounting platform Accounteer, who has since gone on to expand into Kenya and raise additional funding.