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At least seven African startups were among the 189 companies that participated at Y Combinator‘s Winter 2019 Demo Day on Monday and Tuesday this week (18 and 19 March).
Twice a year, the US seed accelerator invests $150 000 in selected startups, in exchange for seven percent equity from each startup selected for its winter and summer batches. The startups relocate to Silicon Valley for three months, with each batch culminating in a Demo Day.
Nigeria dominates the lineup of African startups that made it into Y Combinator’s Winter 2019 class, with six startups coming from the West African country. Tanzanian fintech Nala this week became the first startup from the East African country to pitch at a Y Combinator Demo Day.
Tanzanian fintech Nala made history by becoming the first company from the East African country to pitch at Y Combinator’s Demo Day
Nala (Tanzania): Nala is a mobile money application that works offline, allowing users to easily access multiple mobile money wallets faster. The startup was founded in 2017 by CEO Benjamin Fernandes.
Verto (Nigeria /UK): Although based in the UK, this currency exchange marketplace for international businesses currently operates in Nigeria. The startup was founded in 2017 by Ola Oyetayo and Anthony Oduwole.
Thrive Agric (Nigeria): Abuja-based Thrive Agric provides Nigerian farmers with microloans, agricultural extension services and linkages to buyers upon harvest. The startup was founded in 2016 by CEO Uka Eje and CTO Ayodeji Arikawe.
Stack Diagnostics (Nigeria): Lagos-based healthtech startup Stack Diagnostics (or Stack DX) provides molecular diagnostic services to doctors and hospitals. The startup was founded last year by CTO Ogochukwu Francis Osifo, CPO Gatumi Aliyu, Damilola Oni and CEO Abasi Ene-Obong.
Schoolable (Nigeria): This fintech, which hails from Lagos, helps schools in Africa to grow their revenue and improve their cash flow by helping them collect fees from parents on time. In addition, the startup also helps families pay school fees monthly, save towards school fees and access loans to finance their children’s education. The startup was founded in 2017 by CEO Henry Chibuzo.
Wallet.ng (Nigeria): Lagos-based fintech Wallet.ng enables users to send and receive money, as well as make payments using phone numbers. The startup was founded in 2016 by CEO John Oke and COO Joseph Benson-Aruna.
CredPal (Nigeria): Operating out of Lagos, CredPal enables users to make purchases both online and offline in fixed monthly payments. The startup was founded in 2017 by COO Olorunfemi Jegede and CEO Fehintolu Olaogun.
In the last four years a number of African startups have been selected to join the Y Combinator’s accelerator. They include Nigerian startups PayStack, Kobo360,Releaf.ng, CowryRise,Tizeti, Flutterwave, Helium Health as well as Ghana’s OMG Digital and Morocco’s WaystoCap.
Featured image: Part of the African contingent of startups that pitched at the Y Combinator Winter 2019 Demo Day earlier this week ( John Oke via Twitter)