Eleven African tech startups have secured their places at the global final of the Seedstars World competition in Switzerland next year, where they will compete for US$500,000 in equity investment.
Seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets Seedstars World is selecting national winners from all over the world, and hosted African events in Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Egypt, Morocco, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Angola, The Gambia, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Cape Verde, Tunisia, Malawi, Cameroon, Mauritius, Uganda, Libya, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Zambia, Mali, Botswana, Nigeria, Namibia, Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Those startups convened this week for the Seedstars regional summit, also in Johannesburg, and pitched for the chance to join selected startups from other regions at the Seedstars Summit in April next year. There, they will have the chance to secure US$500,000 in funding, as well as a host of other prizes.
The 11 winning startups selected at the regional final included Rwandan fintech startup Exuus, which is taking traditional savings groups online in a bid to smooth processes; Kenya’s Pezesha, a value chain financial marketplace that financially educates borrowers and taking them through a credit scoring process before they qualify for a loan; and Uganda’s Teheca, which is focused on reducing the mortality rates of mothers and infants in developing countries through increasing the uptake of postnatal care services.
Also selected were Mali’s Oko Finance, which has developed a turnkey crop insurance platform for emerging markets; Ghana’s Nvoicia, which helps small businesses with unpaid invoices gain access to working capital loans; Senegal’s Afrikamart, which helps farmers tackle challenges around access to market and logistics; and The Gambia’s Nadji.Bi, an innovative, sustainable solar solution.
The list is completed by South African digital commerce platform Vectra, Nigeria’s Crop2Cash, which provides a number of digital services to smallholder farmers, and Angola’s Roque Online, which helps informal market vendors and service providers manage themselves as micro-enterprises.
Mozambican transport startup Txapita takes the 11th spot after being picked as a wildcard entry.
A number of additional prizes were also handed out, with Ethiopia’s Zafree Papers winning the US$10,000 Doen Land Restoration Prize, and OKO Finance receiving three months of access to an investment readiness programme after winning the Job Creation Prize.
North African winners will take part in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regional event on Thursday, December 12 in Casablanca.