Investment

11 African tech startups, selected for Y-Combinator’s S21 Cohort, with 4 of these from Nigeria

Y-Combinator has announced a list of over 120 startups selected for its Summer 2021 accelerator programme. The widely popular programme, which has graduated the likes of Stripe, Dropbox, Airbnb, Coinbase, and Reddit, is slated to hold this August. The selected startups will have the opportunity of receiving $125,000 in exchange for 7 percent equity and will be remotely pitching their startup innovations to a large audience of about 1,000 investors on demo day (August 31). Y-Combinator’s accelerator programme not only helps to offer global visibility to startups that are creatively proffering solutions to different challenges but also helps to give them a platform for growth and mentorship. The result is that startups having gone through this process, are able to iterate better and raise even more funding.

The number of selected startups may still grow as accelerators continue to announce new entrants. About nine (11) African startups have been selected so far, with interests in e-sales, fintech, and multi-currency payment solutions. So far, Africa is represented by three (3) Egyptian startups, namely, ShipBlu, a tech e-commerce delivery and fulfillment startup, Odiggo, an Autotech startup, and Amenli, an online insurance brokerage startup. South Africa is solely represented by FloatPays, a financial wellbeing tech startup, with Morocco putting up a showing of two (2) startups, Freterium and B2B e-commerce platform, Chari. Ghana and Zambia complete the list with Yemaachi Biotechnology, a cancer diagnostics and treatments startup, and Union54, into card issuing APIs for African corporate firms.

Nigeria leads the cohort, represented by the following startups:

Mecho Autotech functions as a robust and fully interactive technology platform that enables seamless vehicle maintenance, inspection, and repair services through a robust network of certified mechanics and automobile technicians. It is easy for customers to schedule auto services remotely via the platform without the hassle of getting to find an auto repair technician. Digital reports are generated at the end of the service and shared with the customers. The startup was founded by Ayoola Akinkunmi and Olusegun Owoade in 2021 and is looking at opportunities of raising funds to scale.

Image Credit: Suplias, 2021.

Suplias, a Business-to-Business marketplace for Mom-and-pop stores, was founded by Michael Adesanya and Sefa Ikyaator in 2020. Through their app, thousands of retail stores are able to easily purchase products of their choice. 

Image Credit: Technext, 2021.

With a goal of decentralizing remote research/clinical trials in Africa, Infuiss Health was founded by Melissa Bime and Mbah Charles in 2020. The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform helps to connect researchers directly to patients and target participants within five days, to carry out clinical studies and tests. The platform is revolutionizing the research space, making its services available to academia as well as industry players.

Founded in 2021, Lemonade Finance acts as a payment solution for clients within and outside of Africa.  Through this platform, the digital payment experience for Africans is made seamless from anywhere in the world without any challenges or hitches. Founded by Olalere Ridwan, the startup aims at solving the challenge of high remittance fees for Africans, when sending money out of the continent. This also offers users the ability to send money to the US and Europe free of charge.

Eyes will be riveted on Y-Combinator this August to see how much each of these selected startups are able to raise, and how their innovations are positioned to disrupt global markets. With funding towards African startups this year, already crossing the $2 billion mark, the startups representing Africa will be of particular interest to investors, because of the huge wealth of opportunities in the different markets that the African continent possesses.

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