9 African tech startups selected for Y Combinator S21 batch

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Nine African tech startups are among the 117 so far revealed to be taking place in the Silicon Valley-based Y Combinator accelerator, receiving US$125,000 each in seed funding as well as further investment opportunities at a demo day.

Y Combinator will launch its S21 batch this month, with the renowned programme concluding in September with a demo day.

Nine of the startups so far named (more will be revealed as the programme progresses) are from Africa, with Nigeria and Egypt leading the way with three each. The Nigerian representatives are Mecho Autotech, which connects car users with mechanics and smart part vendors; Suplias, a B2B marketplace for mom and pop stores; and Lemonade Finance, a multi-currency payments solution.

Egypt is represented by licensed online insurance brokerage Amenli, car parts marketplace Odiggo and ShipBlu, a last mile e-commerce delivery and fulfillment company. 

Morocco has two representatives in the form of Chari, an e-commerce and fintech app for traditional retailers, and Freterium, a collaborative SaaS platform that connects organisations, people and technologies in the logistics value chain, while South Africa’s Floatpays, an on-demand wage access platform, completes the list.

“It’s an honour for us to participate in the S21 batch of Y Combinator. With my co-founder, we will belong to the very closed circle of YC Alumni, allowing us to benefit from a global network of brilliantly successful startups. This will create a lot of value for our startup,” said Ismael Belkhayat, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Chari.

In March, 10 African tech startups took to the virtual stage for Y Combinator Winter ‘21 batch demo day, pitching to an audience of investors, press, alumni, and other interested parties.

Y Combinator is perhaps the world’s most famous accelerator, and is increasingly selecting African tech startups to take part in its programme. Its alumni features continental royalty such as Flutterwave, Paystack and Kobo360 (not to mention Cowrywise MarketForce, Kudi, WaystoCap, WorkPay, Healthlane, Trella, 54gene, CredPal, NALA and Breadfast).

The accelerator occupies an ambiguous position within the continent’s startup ecosystem, but is lauded by entrepreneurs for the positive impact it has on their businesses.

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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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