The African entrepreneurial ecosystem is booming, and we got a chance to learn this from our own experience. After travelling across the continent each year for five years in a row, we have had an opportunity to witness a significant increase in the quantity and quality of tech solutions. In 2018, the Seedstars World Competition got a winner from Ghana — Agrocenta, and recently, great startups such as Schoolap, Iyezahealth, Medsaf, MyFoodness, Benefactors Ltd, CowTribe, and many more have joined our network. Four out of the six mentioned startups have women founders, which is quite encouraging. Sub-Saharan Africa boasts the world’s highest rates in womenpreneurship. About 25.9% of the female adult population is engaged in early-stage entrepreneurial activity in the region.
The investment opportunities are growing as well. Only in 2017, African startups raised $ 560 million, and in 2018, startup funding reached a record USD725.6 million. The numbers show that the continent holds untapped potential, but still, the situation is far from ideal. That’s why we continue our journey in Africa to discover the best early-stage startups and provide them with investment and educational opportunities.
During the Seedstars World Tour in 2019, we already uncovered 21 promising startups, which proved to have the best business model out of all the participants from their countries. The Seedstars World Competition is not over yet, and we have two more countries to visit before our final stop in Johannesburg, South Africa for Seedstars Summit Africa 2019.
Meet the startups that we uncovered along the way:
Pezesha is a financial marketplace facilitating credit scoring and affordable credit for the unbanked by connecting them with lenders.
Afrikamart is a FoodTech startup that aims at becoming the largest fresh food supplier in Africa without owning any farm.
Track Your Build is a mapping, GIS and data management company that provides clients with the information they need to build new assets or extend the lifespan of existing ones.
By providing capital to property developers, YETU PIC enables the diaspora to acquire residences back home via bank mortgages safely.
Nadji.bi is a solar solutions manufacturer specialized in research, development and industrial manufacturing of solar solutions in rural and urban areas.
Exuus is a limited liability tech company that provides Saving Groups with a decentralized collective ledger.
PassaFree is a mobile app that offers event organizers a safe and quality option in sales and distribution of tickets to guarantee greater adherence.
Sheria Kiganjani is the first digital platform in Tanzania that provides online access to various legal services.
Nvoicia (Growth Factor) assists small businesses with unpaid invoices and helps them gain access to working capital loans.
Roque Online is a technology platform that provides e-commerce services with a business suit.
Digital Renter provides an easy way of advertising vacant houses & lands for sale, offering instant notification of new listings to seekers.
Ocliya is a HealthTech startup that aims at providing a one-stop-shop for health services in Malawi.
Teheca is a mobile app to connect young mothers and pregnant women to nurses.
Eco Warriors is the first educational mobile game under the UNESCO patronage in Africa that teaches kids to recycle waste through gamification.
TXAPITA Mobility is Africa's largest urban mobility app.
Lifi Led is a wireless technology which uses light to transmit data between devices.
Crop2Cash provides farmers with mobile money solutions and connect farmers to input service providers and off-takers.
Glocaltravel.io brings hotels and accommodation players across Africa online and increase their visibility, distribution and sales.
Apptorney promotes access to justice through a marketplace for legal services and information using inclusive technologies.
OKO Finance offers mobile-based index insurance products to small farmers and facilitates access to affordable loans, weather alerts and tips.
Angular Creative Labs is a personalized job alerts service that seeks to connect the unemployed to opportunities through chatbots.
Macquarie Medical Care is a company providing innovative telemedicine and digital health solutions at an affordable price.
WORKNASI is an online platform that allows to easily showcase/rent/book shared office spaces, coworking and meeting rooms.
MedDuka is a scan-based trading platform for hospitals & retail pharmacies to source medicines directly from pharma distributors at no cost.
MyFoodness is an ordering and delivery app with cashless payment solutions.
[the list is being updated]
Also, there are 8 more startups that are joining us this year as winners of two challenges powered by our partners GIZ and DOEN.
Winners of the Land Restoration Prize by DOEN:
Lono offers sustainable and affordable solutions to transform waste into value.
Green Fingers Mobile is a mobile app that replaces paper-based management systems with real-time big data to reduce transaction costs and enable the efficient inclusion of smallholder farmers in global value chains.
Zafree Papers is a company based in Ethiopia that manufactures a 100% tree-free paper pulp using agro-waste.
Women-led startups that won a free ticket to the Summit thanks to our partner GIZ:
Easy2Facil is on-demand dry cleaning and shoe-making service.
Cliko is a delivery company that makes it possible for its clients to order food from favourite restaurants.
Smartmarket is an e-commerce platform that offers fresh and organic products at affordable prices.
What to Expect from the Event?
South Africa is home to the most dynamic tech ecosystem on the continent. The country’s largest city Johannesburg has always been the heartbeat of the vibrant community of entrepreneurs, investors, change-makers and ecosystem builders. This year, we aim at bringing more than 400+ participants from 30+ countries, which will make the Summit one of the most significant tech events on the continent.
“The Seedstars Summit Africa is not just an event. It’s the completion of six months of intense work and travel in more than 25+ countries of the continent, to meet the people who are building the future of Africa today. So almost every person you’ll meet at the event was personally invited to the Summit by one of our team members on the ground, because she or he is making a difference in her/his community, either as an entrepreneur or a strong believer and supporter of the local ecosystem.” - Anne-Alice Fievet, African Summit Manager.
Among our major goals this year is to invite as many female entrepreneurs as possible. Despite the statistic signifies that female entrepreneurs are on the rise on the continent, Africa is far from equality we envision it, that’s why during the Summit, we want to make sure women are well-represented and given voice to speak up about burning issues in the tech industry.
The Seedstars Summit Africa 2019 will take place in three phases. The first one (on December 3) is a private Growth Bootcamp for 25+ startups that were selected during the Seedstars World Tour. Together with mentors and experts, the participating teams will learn growth strategies, refine their business model and prepare to the pitching session in front of the investors.
The second day (December 4) will host the Investor Forum for more than 30 angel investors, venture funds and government representatives to discuss the investment landscape in Africa and outline key steps in the regional development. Also, the Investor Forum will be a meeting point for startups and investors, where they have a chance to network, pitch and get valuable feedback from some of the most accomplished venture capitalists from Africa and abroad.
Finally, the third day is Summit Day (December 5) that will be a solid platform for the key players of the different ecosystems to meet, discuss and strengthen their collaboration and support to the African tech startups. The event will gather more than 20 speakers and experts who are founders and CEOs of well-known African and international companies such as Marcello Schermer, Head of Expansion at Yoco, Clyde Vacher, founder of Interaction, Ngasuma Kanyeka, Deputy Chief of Party, Feed the Future Tanzania Advancing Youth, and many more.
Among the partners that support us this year and make this event possible are HYBR, Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa, DOEN, African Development Bank Group, Microsoft 4 Africa, Tshimologong, GIZ, France24, and others.
If you are interested in becoming our partner, please send your request to Anne-Alice at africasummit[at]seedstars.com. Get your attendee pass here.