Big data, pet food and dating: these are 88mph’s 7 chosen SA startups


From a pet food delivery service to an innovative social mingling site and business analytics, African startup accelerator and fund programme 88mph has recently announced the seven South African startups taking part in this year’s programme. Out of a massive 300 applicants, the accelerator finally narrowed the list down to include, Catch, Pet Heaven, Ekaya, Graphflow, Byte Money and 8Bit.

Most of these startups are mobile and web oriented and will receive investment, access to business networks, technical infrastructure, workspace and mentoring, in exchange for some equity. The startups will present their ideas on Investor Day on the 16 April.

Dan Bowyer says that, “We’re blown away by the talent, drive and determination from this year’s intake, and have high hopes for their ongoing success. Two of the teams are already in detailed ‘follow on’ investment talks which is unusual at this early stage. We’re supremely pleased and proud of all of them.”

Ekaya, developed by Justin R. Melville, Ruark Ferreira and Rudolf Vavruch, are launching a radical new marketplace that matches great landlords with great tenants. The service is meant to make renting easier, quicker, more affordable and secure.

Ekaya’s Melville commented, “88mph has been like a lightning rod for us, the people, energy and momentum from the programme has been incredible, literally game-changing.”

Founded by Mark Raa, takes the hassle out of making an appointment. Any business can use to better manage their diaries, clients and inventory.

Catchfounded by Aidan Classe, is an app that shows you who’s attending the same events as you and makes it easy to connect before, during and after the event. Awesome for singles. The site reads that “Catch is where people meet. Real life, only better.”

Pet Heaven headed by Courtenay Farquharson, is a scheduled pet food and treats delivery service. The online service lets you select your pet’s favourites, pick your frequency, and then relax in the knowledge that they will turn up on time, every time.

Graphflowfounded by Nick Pentreath and Robert Elliot, is a recommendation engine for mobile and ecommerce. It’s a tool that uses big data to generate user-centric recommendations and targeting, customer intelligence, and data visualisation for online businesses.

Craig Peacock and Juan-Marc Naude from Byte Money specialise in the receipting and allocation of funeral insurance policies in the field, using a PoS mobile handset.

Founder Tom Kennedy and CTO Rich Huth of 8Bit are said to have developed a highly adaptive premium ad network platform that connects leading brands with independent publishers, to create extremely engaging ROI-focused campaigns.

Watch this space.

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter


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