ASIP announces top 20 start-ups through to Dakar

The Africa Startup Initiative Programme (ASIP) is powered by Startupbootcamp AfriTech. Photo: Supplied/Ventureburn
The Africa Startup Initiative Programme (ASIP) is powered by Startupbootcamp AfriTech. Photo: Supplied/Ventureburn

From an AI platform to chest X-Ray pathologies to a fresh produce marketplace. Organisers of the Africa Startup Initiative Programme (ASIP) have announced the 20 African tech start-ups who will participate in a final pitch battle in Dakar, Senegal next week.

ASIP is powered by Startupbootcamp AfriTech. The top 20 start-ups participating in the third edition of the sought-after accelerator were selected from more than 2 000 applications. They will meet in Dakar on Wednesday, 18 and Thursday, 19 January.

The ASIP announcement follows a tough year for the global start-up ecosystem with layoffs, company closures, and fundraising troubles plaguing founders. Despite this, African start-ups are doing well, having raised an estimated $5 billion in 2022.

The multiple adverse implications of the downturn cannot be overstated or ignored, and in uncertain times, a world-class accelerator partner is of utmost value to help founders navigate their businesses.

“All things considered, the African start-up space is growing,” says ASIP programme director Henry Ojuor. “We’ve seen applications come from 56 countries including countries not typically popular as start-up destinations.

“As expected, we have also had mature applications from the major ecosystems. As we gear up for the final selection days, I feel proud and confident that these start-ups chosen from a pool of almost 2000 applicants, would all be a shining light to the future of the African tech ecosystem.”

Founded by Telecel Group, the ASIP accelerator has proved to be an effective medium to assist founders. It is backed by the Senegalese government (DER/FJ), the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO), AWS, Google and Firstbase.

The aim is to support the next generation of early-stage African tech start-ups disrupting key industry verticals that include fintech, insuretech, agritech, climatetech, e-commerce, digital health, and cleantech, mobility, micro-leasing, and digitising the informal economy.

Eleanor Azar, ASIP director and executive deputy of Telecel said: “The scouting was very intense for this third cohort of Telecel Group ASIP; we look forward to seeing the top 20 in Dakar and I would like to tell them, that it is by no mean a small feat to have been chosen out of over 2 000 applications. Good luck to all and may the best start-ups win.”

Over the span of two final selection days, the start-ups in attendance will have the opportunity to present their pitches to high-profile corporate sponsors, investors, thought leaders, and industry experts and will have the chance to sit down with mentors and sponsors alike. Ultimately, 10 start-ups will join cohort 3 of the ASIP accelerator and showcase their progress at a demo day, which happens on Africa Day in Dakar.

Participants will receive an intensive three-month coaching and support program to accelerate their growth and benefits worth $750 000. The programme will take place in Dakar and start-ups will be hosted by DER/FJ at the D-hub, – a space commissioned by the General Delegation for the Rapid Entrepreneurship of Women and Youth (DER/FJ) and established by Senegalese president Macky Sall.

The scouting for this cohort saw the team visit cities that include Addis Ababa, Casablanca, Nairobi, Abidjan, Lagos, Kampala, and Accra. The FastTracks garnered over 500 attendees made up of founders, industry experts and ecosystem supporters.

“While scouting, we met and added value to founders from all stages,” says Ojour. “65% of the start-ups in the start-up stage had a 40% female founder makeup. This makeup is the reason why the top 20 that we are announcing today is so impressive.”

Africa Startup Initiative Programme (ASIP): Sodishop is a marketplace present in Mali, Guinea, Senegal and Ivory Coast. Photo: Supplied/Ventureburn
Sodishop is a marketplace present in Mali, Guinea, Senegal and Ivory Coast. Photo: Supplied/Ventureburn

These are the top 20 start-ups

Kyanda Africa is a revolutionary fintech platform that provides businesses and individuals with convenient and reliable money transfer solutions. The start-up has a network of agents, API gateway, and various access channels such as USSD, Mobile App & WhatsApp Chatbots making the services customizable dependent on the users’ needs.

PharmaServ is a SaaS product, which automates the process of sales orders, tracking sales team performance, and reconciling incoming purchase orders, payments, and invoices for health brands. This is a labour-intensive process that is still predominantly manual for most local companies in emerging markets.

Sodishop is a marketplace, an online sales, and purchase platform, present in 4 countries in West Africa, we deliver thousands of orders per month across Mali, Senegal, Guinea, and Côte d’Ivoire.

Lebalma is a fintech start-up that lends common products to professionals and businesses and aims to make sales on credit a business opportunity and an appropriate means of meeting the customer’s needs in Africa.

BD Waste is a greentech start-up that combines fintech and sustainability to recover Plastic waste from communities. Their Digicycle product allows customers to directly deposit plastic waste into their digital wallets and receive credit for it. This credit can be used to purchase data packages, airtime, food items, stationery, and health insurance.

Limawa aims to tackle the issues of food conservation and transportation through solar-powered split air conditioners that can reach -2 °C (designed in CI by our team). Limawa offers an innovative and cost-efficient alternative to industrial compressors for the cold chain industry. This solution is suitable for trucks, containers, and trailers.

Parkwell is an Online sharing Platform that matches drivers with available, safe parking spaces and helps property owners list their parking spaces for optimum use. The digital parking platform integrates parking facilities and connects them to mobile for a seamless experience.

Nelsa is a B2B marketplace that simplifies the way businesses procure fresh produce in Africa. The company takes care of the entire process, from planning buying orders, ordering products, and expense management, to logistics. They also use mobile technology to connect merchants with quality, fresh produce direct from farmers and small producers.

Ared Group is an infrastructure-as-a-service company that is building an AI-powered hyper-converged distributed storage and computing infrastructure using edge technology to help bridge the digital infrastructure gap in emerging markets. Their goal is to integrate a distributed architecture in which storage, computing, and networking are integrated into a single system using Edge gateway.

Mipango Fintech Limited helps Tanzania’s adult mass market make smart financial decisions and access pre-qualified loans and financial products to help drive financial inclusion, financial literacy, and reduce poverty. Their solution is a personal finance, robo advisory app, and credit scoring app for the unbanked.

Guanxi Investments develops technologies to promote financial inclusion and tackle the problem of limited access to financing for entrepreneurs in Africa. Guanxi has pioneered a new financing model connecting the dots between entrepreneurs and investors in Africa across various stages and industries.

Jand2Gidi offers ‘Logistics As A Service’ to B2B and B2B2C customers whose users are engaged in cross-border trade. They have built shipping APIs to provide the same hassle-free, transparent, and trackable shipping services to their B2B merchants to enable them to grow faster. After nearly a decade of building robust, cutting-edge freight forwarding and last-mile delivery services.

Elnexu Consults is a fintech with a major focus on software development around POS Terminals, Mobile Payment Applications, Web Development, etc. They deploy their POS to mobile Agents who engage in Financial inclusion services like withdrawals, transfers, bill payments, and other value-added services.

Biha Eco Energies seeks to revolutionise the housing sector in Africa through access to affordable energy and sustainable housing solutions in rural Uganda. The start-up builds net-zero homes using recycled modular roofing tiles integrated with solar technology for sustainable housing and clean energy provision.

Moja Ride has made its mission to enable better and cleaner mobility services to African cities by making financing easy and accessible for all transportation professionals. Drivers and transport companies can easily qualify for new car loans and car repairs by simply working with Moja Ride’s advanced digital fare payment and booking technologies.

SafeTrack technology allows a 75 % reduction in water consumption for irrigation at 20 % of the price of its competitors. Their IoT solution of geolocation and monitoring 100 % mobile, simple maintenance, and does not require any IT infrastructure. Composed of revalued smartphones and sensors and other affordable devices, and a cloud software platform developed internally.”

Purs is a point-of-sale instalment infrastructure platform that uses open financial data to feed an algorithm that gives consumers and business owners instant, 3-click alternative financing.

Buur Logistics is a start-up that, thanks to its qualified and aggregated databases, allows logistics, mining, and commercial companies to have a truck on time and benefit from a personalized follow-up. The customer places an order via the Buur Logistics platform, by email or phone call our operator checks the databases for trucks that can do the job, negotiates and assigns the route and the carrier leaves with a supervisor from the Buur Logistics team, all within 45 minutes

Chestify AI Labs provides an AI platform that gives a highly accurate algorithm for diagnosing chest X-Ray pathologies. Two-thirds of the world’s population of over 5 billion people with no access to a radiologist and radiologic diagnostic support tools and Chestify’s mission is to aggressively tackle the socio-economic and health distress created by inadequate radiology Infrastructure and the presence of fewer radiologists in Africa.

WNDO is a comprehensive video social commerce platform, offering both sellers and buyers an equally highly immersive, interactive, and personalised shopping experience. That is why Wndo integrates merchandising, checkout, payment, and exposure into one seamless video experience, which aims to transform the audience into an engaging community.

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