Twenty African-led Startups Selected For Shell Foundation and Seedstars’ Sustainability Challenge


Twenty African-led Startups Selected For Shell Foundation and Seedstars’ Sustainability Challenge

Seedstars Global

JULY 25, 2021

Seedstars and the Shell Foundation, the UK-registered charity, have selected 20 startups to participate in the Energy, Mobility, and Agriculture Innovation Challenge. The chosen entrepreneurs will undergo a three-month Investment Readiness Programme (IRP) facilitated by Seedstars and a network of experts. For those interested in receiving information about the investor roadshow that will take place at the end of the programme, you may register here:



The Energy, Mobility, and Agriculture Innovation Challenge, co-funded by the UK Government’s Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) and Shell Foundation, was designed to support African entrepreneurs who are looking for scalable, and innovative solutions to address sustainability and energy-related challenges. The initiative was set up to provide dedicated support of African start-ups tackling those challenges on the continent, while generating proof-points and learnings for the wider sector.

“We are delighted to see so many exciting African-led startups with potential to positively impact the lives of low-income consumers without access to energy or mobility for household or business use. Through the Seedstars’ programme, Shell Foundation aims to support early-stage African social enterprises by facilitating access to institutional knowledge and mentorship, and highlighting the prospects and success of these innovations to unlock funding and opportunities.” shares Kwaku Owusu-Achaw, West Africa Regional Manager, Shell Foundation.

The 20 African startups moving on to the Investment Readiness Programme are:

Energy Tech Startups:

  • Green Innovation Ventures (Kenya) - An energy startup providing back to back PAYgo management solutions to remote last mile customers, distributors, and sale agents.
  • gnuGrid (Uganda) - Facilitates energy inclusion by helping solar companies manage operations, monitor solar systems and collect data on energy usage
  • Solaristique Nigeria (Nigeria) - Recycles old refrigerators into solar refrigerators with IoT and MIS for SMEs, households, and Farmers.
  • Powerlive Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe) - Social enterprise that makes affordable clean energy for remote rural off-grid communities through a PAYGO model.
  • Jirogasy (Madagascar) - Focuses on democratising access to electricity and IT in isolated areas

Agri Tech Startups:

  • Plug'n'Grow (Egypt) - Offers customers financial opportunity through their "Food Factories" that economically and sustainably multiply agricultural production.
  • AquaFarms Africa (Guinea) - Their vision is to reshape Africa’s economic destiny by using aquaponics to catalyze food security and youth employment across the continent.
  • Crop2Cash (Nigeria) - Built an operating system for agricultural lending that unlocks billions in finance for farmers.
  • Rural Farmers Hub (Nigeria) - Provides precision management of crop health and soil nutrients with cloud-based automated sampler that creates intelligent maps to plan drone fixes.
  • Agrovine Engineering (Sudan) - Aims to localize sustainable agriculture in Sudan by enhancing crop productivity without harming the environment.
  • Kitovu (Nigeria) - Uses data to eliminate guesswork and supply chain inefficiencies from African agriculture, enabling farmers to earn better incomes.
  • InsurePay (Zambia) - Fintech startup providing input finance and access to markets for smallholder farmers in Zambia.

Mobility Tech Startups:

  • Kiri EV (Kenya) - Manufactures affordable fully electric motorcycles and scooters deployed with battery swapping stations.
  • Solar e-Cycles (Kenya) - Creates sustainable jobs for youth by creating micro-SME management capacity in last mile delivery, access to power, rapid scaling, and impact.
  • LOMBAZ Swift (Nigeria) - A delivery and waybill-hailing app that connects users who want to send or receive goods, items and consignment to their deliverer.
  • Tripplo (South Africa) - Facilitates safe and efficient movement of road freight cargo across the SADC region.
  • Routemasters (Nigeria) - Uses unique algorithms to help users plan and navigate transport journeys in emerging cities with untracked & informal public transport.
  • Tuverl - Smart Commuting (Zimbabwe) - An app that seeks to make public transport cheaper and more accessible to millions of commuters across Africa.
  • Pickmeup (Nigeria) - Merges everyday personal needs into an easy to use digital platform for under-developed emerging markets, starting with mobility.
  • Moja Ride (Côte d'Ivoire) - Public transportation in African cities is expensive, unsafe, unreliable, and mostly informal. Moja Ride enables digital transportation.

The selected startups will join the IRP, which will include weekly live online training sessions, bi-weekly 1-on-1 meetings with mentors, three domain group sessions, peer-to-peer networking and an investor roadshow. The programme will run from April 2021 through mid-June 2021.

To learn more about these startups and to sign up for the upcoming investor roadshow at the end of the programme, you may register here:



Shell Foundation is a UK-registered charity, founded by Shell in 2000, that creates and scales business solutions to enhance access to energy and affordable transport. SF exists to serve the low-income communities most affected by these issues.

SF provides patient support to social enterprises and institutions capable of delivering social change at scale across Africa and Asia via disruptive technologies or business models without long-term reliance on charitable support or subsidy. To date Shell Foundation’s work has improved the lives of more than 180m people.


Seedstars is a Swiss-based private company with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. The groups’ activities cover over 90 emerging ecosystems through a variety of initiatives such as the Online Seedstars World Competition, acceleration programs, physical hubs called Seedspace, venture capital investments and company building activities. Seedstars The Documentary is a feature film featuring the company’s vision to give a voice to the game changers of the developing world.

"They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds." - Mexican proverb


If you would like more information, please contact Michaela Villaroman at [email protected].

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