Seven African tech startups receive funding 

MEST Africa has announced its funding round of $700 000 for seven selected African tech startups that have graduated from its 2020 training programme.  

The selected seven startups will not only receive funding but take part in the MEST Africa incubation programme

Ashwin Ravichandran, managing director of MEST Africa comments on this year’s cohort of selected African tech startups. 

“We are blown away by the perseverance and talent we have seen in our entrepreneurs this year, as it has been a year filled with unexpected twists and turns.”

Each of the seven startups will receive $100 000 in funding and join the MEST incubators in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. 

MEST is a Pan-African entrepreneurial training program, seed fund, tech incubator for tech startups in Africa. 

This year’s selection of startups overcame the challenges surrounding Covid-19 working remotely and interacting virtually with the team of MEST mentors and taking part in the training programme. 

“This was the first time our entrepreneurs were trained mostly virtually and away from our campus, and I am proud to say they have come out stronger than ever. We are incredibly excited about the 7 companies we have decided to invest in and look forward to continuing our support and mentorship as they launch their businesses across the continent. Our pan-African network of hubs and partners will allow the companies to position themselves in the best possible market for their entry and future expansion. We are also excited to see the addition of new industries in our portfolio companies such as FoodTech and Monitoring & Evaluation, amongst others,” added Ravichandran. 

Selected out of 15 teams that pitched their startup ideas from a range of countries across the continent including South Africa, Mali, Congo, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and more. 

The selected cohort 

Here are the seven African tech startups that will each receive $100 000 in funding. 

  •  Heny – A platform that partners with restaurants and delivery services to provide on-demand and catering food service where diners can choose from a variety of menus
  • Shopa – A platform that enables informal retailers to order products with a high rate of sales at the lowest cost and best prices from suppliers, and has them delivered to their shops within 24hrs
  • Joovlin – A backbone infrastructure that inter-connects all wallet solutions and enables them to transact seamlessly with each other
  • KPI Lens – A cloud-based monitoring and evaluation platform that enables project managers to track KPIs across various monitoring frameworks and generate reports in near-real-time 
  • Eleka – An app to collect real-time customer onboarding information in an organized manner as well as giving the customers a smooth data submission experience 
  • Boxconn – A platform that provides businesses and individuals access to reliable delivery partners to send goods
  • Tendo – A platform that connects independent resellers to businesses 

The selected startups will join over 40 companies currently undergoing the incubation programme as part of MEST Africa’s portfolio in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. 

MEST Africa 

The selected entrepreneurs that are part of MEST Africa’s organisation and programme have created solutions for both local and global markets. Being selected as part of the cohort each year, allows selected startups to potentially receive funding from global investors and access to top accelerator programmes. 

Developed by the MeltWater Foundation, MEST Africa aims to support African entrepreneurs through its training and incubator programmes. 

MEST entrepreneurs have also been selected by President Obama as representatives of the African business community at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C, and have been named Mandela Washington Fellows – a flagship program of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). MEST entrepreneurs have also been selected to be on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Africa list. 

In September 2020, MEST alumni and start-up won the 2020 Royal Academy of Engineering’s Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. The founder of this startup is the first women in the world to win this prize. 

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Featured image: (Left to right) Allie (one of the startup founders selected) with Ashwin Ravichandran, managing director of MEST Africa (Supplied) 

Ishani Chetty: Editor
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