BY TOM JACKSON ON JUNE 14, 2019
Twenty-two tech startups from 10 countries have been chosen to take part in the selection days to secure one of 10 spaces in the Cape Town-based Startupbootcamp AfriTech accelerator.
The corporate-backed, fintech-focused Startupbootcamp AfriTech returns for a third edition this year after previous cohorts in 2017 and 2018, taking place in conjunction with sponsors Old Mutual, RCS, BNP Paribas Personal Finance, Nedbank, PwC and Dentons.
After the Startupbootcamp team spent three months hosting events across the continent, 1,804 applications were received for the accelerator, up 80 per cent on last year. The top 22 startups have now been invited to attend the final selection days in Cape Town on July 10-11.
Seven of those teams hail from South Africa, namely sports tech startup 3DIMO, big data platform Convergenc3 Databotics, blockchain startup KURAI, merchant inventory sourcing app Last Mile for BoP, investtech startup Mshtarii, lending platform Rentoza, and digital receipting app Snapslip.
Another six are from Nigeria: anti-counterfeiting tool Chekkit, healthcare data platform Curacel Systems, credit service FriendsVow, property investment platform HouseAfrica, online savings platform KoloPay, and escrow service Vesicash.
Kenya is represented by money transfer service Asilimia and lending platform MarketForce, Uganda by investtech platform Cinnamon Clubs, Togo by SOS system Dashmake, Morocco by mobility startup Weego, Senegal by e-commerce platform Yobante Express, and Zimbabwe by crowdfarming startup YouFarm. UK-based Survey54 and US-based Xcellent Life complete the list.
During the final selection days, the startups will have the opportunity to present their pitches to high-profile corporate sponsors, investors, thought leaders and industry experts, and engage with mentors and sponsors.
The top 10 will be welcomed into the Cape Town-based accelerator programme, which kicks off in August and culminates in a demo day in November. Over the three-month period, the selected startups will have the opportunity to scale at speed and seal pilots and proof-of-concepts with the corporate sponsors of the programme and others.
“The startups that applied in 2019 were exceptionally impressive and are significantly later-stage, showing more market traction than applicants from previous years. What’s more, the talent originating out of different regions in the African continent is astounding,” said Motlhabane Koloi, legal and scouting manager for Startupbootcamp AfriTech.
Zachariah George, Startupbootcamp AfriTech’s co-founder and chief investment officer, said several of the 2017 and 2018 alumni startup had gone on to establish strategic commercial partnerships with leading institutions both within Africa and globally, helping them significantly in raising capital.
“There are high expectations for the applicants of the 2019 cohort, and if the calibre of the startups at this stage is any indication, this year’s programme promises to be a great success for the African tech and innovation ecosystem,” he said.