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Valuation startup wins Tech4Africa’s Ignite competition

Tech4Africa Ignite winner

ValuationUP has won the top spot at Tech4Africa’s ignite startup competition. The competition is part of the annual conference that looks at tech innovation in Africa.

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The company allows businesses owners to learn what drives the performance of the business they are buying, growing, selling or advising.

ValuationUP benchmarks the financial performance of companies to see if they can take a knock, what it’s currently worth and if it will be around next year. The market for this product is truly global if VU can adapt their model for different industries, currencies and influencers.

The aim of the ignite competition is to give “African startups great exposure in a once-a-year environment of investors, mentors, thought leaders, buyers, decision makers, journalists, influencers and potential recruits.”

This year’s Tech4Africa Ignite Startup competition began with a workshop where the 12 final startups interacted with mentors. Startup owners were then allowed to practice their pitches to the audience and judges who rated them based on their team, product, market and business model.

The mistake that over 60% of the applicants made was not to ask for their funding in the allotted three minute period, the thing that they’re essentially there to do.

Below are the rest of the finalists.

Dream Mobile: African mobile phone manufacturer which is producing a phone at half price of competitors who have the same features. The kicker USP is their ability to compress data so that users get double the amount of data for the same price. I found this to be the most compelling startup as the mobile market is huge, especially people modelling up from feature phones to smart phones. Possible threats are cheaper means of production in China.

Fraud check: Does background checks on entities that are doing business online, for example: selling goods on Gumtree — we’re seeing countless scams where unlucky users are being “sold” expensive and exotic pets but are actually being scammed. Fraud Check will do a background check on the person including ICT listings.

GoMetro: Exclusive real time metro trains updates solving the issue of when public transport is going to arrive. Revenue models, of which there were too many to note here seemed a bit flimsy, although its USSD integration is encouraging as the market it’s addressing is still feature phone driven.

OnlineLegal: The eventual runner up, it provides registration or conversion of a company, business, or close corporation ( including off the shelf) with CIPC quickly and easily. Its pricing, for example, of registering a company (R1 150 or US$132) is very competitive versus going the lawyer route.

This business came a close second, in my opinion, because there is a lot of hassle and red tape associated with company registration in South Africa. Whether it can scale and accommodate the business registration processes of other countries remains to be seen.

Perk: A mobile shopping app that works also has a loyalty program. The company has built a detection device to accompany its app that allows retailers to give consumers rewards. These rewards are based on walking into the shop not necessarily making a purchase.

Krit: A mobile platform that provides customer feedback system discreetly. It gives franchise managers a heads up when consumers have a problem. It’s market is the restaurant and retail industry. The company charges retailers to be part on the platform.

ValuationUP gets R25 000 for its win as wells the opportunity to pitch to the AngelHub investor network. The startup will also participate in Knife Capital‘s Executive Education Programme — a “case-study-driven master class is designed to provide delegates with a deep understanding of the high-growth investment process”.

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