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Featured image: XL Africa via Twitter

Here are the 20 startups selected for the World Bank’s L’Afrique Excelle accelerator

L’Afrique Excelle, the francophone adaptation of the World Bank’s XL Africa tech accelerator, has announced the names of the 20 startups selected to participate in the first such edition of the programme.

The World Bank initiative is supported by the Tubaniso Agribusiness and Innovation Center, funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and implemented by VC4A, Suguba and SahelInnov.

The programme aims to connect francophone startups across the continent with mentors and investors. In addition, as part of the programme, L’Afrique Excelle will assist participants to raise up to $5-million from investors.

The L’Afrique Excelle programme will kick off
later this month with a week-long residency in Mali

To be selected for the programme, startups must have a product or service that is currently available to one or more francophone African markets, have strong revenues and be well positioned for growth and cross-border expansion.

Of the 20 startups, 18 hail from the largely French-speaking nations of Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mauritius, Niger, Senegal, while two are from anglophone countries Tanzania and Kenya. The 20 are:

StarNew Mobile (Cameroon): A network of mobile video channels that allows celebrities and brands to monetise their fan bases in Africa.

Gifted Mom (Cameroon): This mobile-based maternal health education solution aims to reduce maternal mortality rates in emerging markets by 9.7% annually.

Paps (Senegal): Paps is an on-demand delivery service.

TripAfrique (Ivory Coast): TripAfrique is a Pan-African platform that provides users with key information for comparison of bus, flight, train or boat schedules and ticket prices.

Firefly Media (Senegal): Firefly is a full-service advertising agency that specialises in public transport.

Ama (Senegal): This digital lending platform enables small business owners in West Africa to apply for loans to fund their short-term business needs.

Solaris Offgrid (Tanzania): Solaris Offgrid develops and sells energy solutions — like solar home systems, cook stoves and smart meters — on a pay as you go and mobile payment model.

Optimetriks (Kenya): Optimetrics helps fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) firms operating in Africa better manage their distribution –especially in the informal trade sector — through a scientific and data-driven approach.

MaTontine (Senegal): This fintech startup provides access to financial services and insurance services by digitising traditional savings circles.

LAfricaMobile (Senegal): LAfricaMobile is a multichannel mobile platform that allows startups and African organisations to interact better with mobile users.

Ouicarry (Senegal): Ouicarry is an ecommerce and international transport company that helps customers in Africa buy online goods from websites around the world.

LiFi LED (Ivory Coast): LiFi LED specialises in the integration of LiFi solutions.

LONO (Ivory Coast): This cleantech startup develops tech that converts waste into energy.

Sudpay (Senegal): Sudpay develops service and electronic payment platforms that range from digital ticketing, mobility, financial resource collection, as well as multi-operator payment solutions.

Exportunity GBC2 (Mauritius): Exportunity Global Trade hub is a virtual market that connects vendors and sellers by organising and managing business-to-customer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) trade in and between African countries.

SmartOne (Madagascar): SmartOne is a data annotation service that provides high quality and high scale human-in-the-loop data to feed artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) projects.

CityTaps (Niger / France): CityTaps develops technological and financial solutions to enable water utilities to connect all urban people to their networks.

Diool (Cameroon): Fintech startup Diool has developed a service which aims to simplify payments between people in Africa online or at cash points.

Oniriq (Senegal / France): Oniriq develops connected solar kits for rural African communities in West Africa.

Eyone (Senegal): Eyone specialises in software publishing, consulting and information systems architecture.

The cohort was selected by an internal investor committee, with the participation of a panel of industry experts from Africa-focused funds that included: Proparco, Orange Digital Ventures, GSMA, Brightmore Capital, BlackPearl, Partech, AHL Venture Partners, GreenTec Capital, Outlierz Ventures, Accion, Compass VC, Oikocredit and the First Growth Fund.

Mali, France residency

VC4A programmes and partnership lead Alina Vinogradova said in a post on Monday (11 March) that the accelerator programme will kick off with a week-long residency from 24 to 30 March in Mali.

The residency will see the 20 benefit from training, individual consultations and peer-to-peer learning. The residency will conclude with a venture showcase at the Francophone Africa Investor Summit on 28 and 29 March in Bamako, Mali.

Thereafter, 10 companies will be selected to travel to the programme’s residency in France in May. During the residency, the cohort will receive more training and mentoring at The Camp with Sophia Business Angels, and with coaching by experts from Deloitte and Google.

In addition, the 10 companies will also get exposure to investors at the AfroBytes and VivaTech conferences.

Read more: Here’s why the World Bank Group moved to launch the Afrique Excelle programme
Read more: Entrepreneurship hub Suguba to host Francophone Africa Investors Summit
Read more: XL Africa — aiming high to create continent’s next growth startups
Read more: Here are the 20 startups that will take part in accelerator XL Africa’s first cohort
Read more: Startups aim to secure $1.5m as World Bank’s XL Africa kicks off in Cape Town

Featured image: XL Africa via Twitter


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