Nigeria’s ThankUCash takes part in 26th batch of 500 Startups accelerator


Nigerian rewards startup ThankUCash is taking part in the 26th edition of the Silicon Valley-based 500 Startups Accelerator, earning access to funding, training and mentorship.

Founded by Madonna and Simeon Ononobi, the latter also the founder of SimplePay, alongside Suraj Supekar, ThankUCash is a multi-merchant rewards platform with analytics for merchant growth.

The startup has developed a platform that enables merchants to offer cash back to encourage loyalty from customers. Customers can pay with cash or card, offline or online, and receive cash back and save as much as 50 per cent each time they spend.

500 Startups is one of the world’s most renowned accelerators, having worked with over 2,000 startups from across the world, and it has just selected 29 startups for its 26th programme. The four-month seed programme provides startups with US$150,000 in funding in exchange for six per cent equity, as well as access to training, mentorship and networks.

ThankUCash is the only African representative on this cohort, with participation on the renowned programme concluding a strong 18 months or so for the Lagos-based company. The startup received funding from early-stage investment platform Microtraction in August 2018, and followed that up with further backing from Ventures Platform, another early-stage fund, in October of the same year.

It was also part of the second Google Launchpad Africa programme, and last week was one of 10 startups from across the continent that pitched live at Africa Tech Summit Kigali.

A host of African startups have been accepted into 500 Startups in the last few years, with Nigerian agri-tech startups EZ Farming and ThriveAgric taking part in the 25th and 24th editions. Egyptian startups Shezlong and Harmonica were selected in batch 23, and another three from Nigeria in batch 22.

The demo day for the 26th edition of 500 Startups will take place on March 19.


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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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