Twice a year, Ycombinator, an American seed funding accelerator invests $125k in selected startups in exchange for 7% equity.
This year, 11 African startups have been selected to be part of Ycombinator’s summer batch. This comes on the heels of its winter batch earlier this year where 10 African startups were accepted into its accelerator program. The selected startups will receive $125,000 each in seed funding as well and will also be exposed to further investment opportunities on the demo day in September.
Nigeria leads the pack of selected African startups with four (4) startups, followed by Morocco with two (2), Egypt with two (2) as well, Ghana with one (1), South Africa with one (1) as well, and making its debut, Zambia with one (1) startup admitted into the Ycombinator summer batch cycle.
African startups that made the cut:
Suplias is a B2B marketplace where mom and pop stores in Africa buy inventory directly from manufacturers using a mobile app. Founded in 2019 by Michael Adesanya, Stephen Igwue, Sefa Ikyaator, the company helps retail stores buy products directly from manufacturers with next day delivery.
Mecho Autotech Ltd (Nigeria)
Mecho Autotech offers on-demand auto maintenance and repairs. Founded in 2020 by Ayoola Akinkunmi and Olusegun Owoade, the company created a network of vetted mechanics, spare part vendors, and an app that enables easy booking, payment, and mechanic matching process. Via the mecho app, a customer or business can make a request for any automobile service (repairs or regular servicing) or part.
Payhippo provides loans to small businesses in Africa in under 3 hours. Founded in 2019 by Zach Bijesse, Uche Nnadi, and Chioma Okotcha, the company’s mission is to serve the 40 million small and medium-sized businesses that are unable to gain access to the funds necessary to grow their business.
Infuiss Health (Nigeria)
Infuiss Health offers a SAAS Platform for remote Clinical research and trials for Africa. Founded in 2020 by Melissa Bime and Mbah Charles, Infuiss Health is building a decentralized platform to power remote research/clinical trials in Africa, by connecting researchers (in industry and academia) directly to patients, participants for their clinical research studies in under 5days.
Yemaachi Biotechnology (Ghana)
Yemaachi Biotechnology is diversifying precision cancer diagnostics and treatments. Founded in 2020 by Yaw Bediako, David Hutchful, Yaw Attua-Afari, and Joyce Ngoi, Yemaachi biotechnology is working to lower the economic burden of cancer by developing novel, non-invasive, and affordable molecular diagnostics that are optimized to work in all people regardless of ethnicity.
Amenli offers insurance to customers in a convenient & transparent way. Founded in 2020 by Shady El Tohfa and Adham Nauman, Amenli is the first Licensed online insurance brokerage in Egypt. The company enables customers to get a quote and buy insurance in 10 mins instead of the 3 to 6 weeks market average.
Shipblu is a Tech-enabled last-mile delivery and ecommerce fulfilment company. Founded in 2020 by Ahmed ElKawass, Abdelrahman Hosny, Ali Nasser, ShipBlu was built to address the growing ecommerce delivery needs in Egypt, and offer an alternative to the substandard services currently provided by existing companies. Unlike other last-mile and fulfilment providers, ShipBlu has technology built into every layer of operations.
Chari co (Morocco)
Chari co is a B2B e-commerce and fintech platform for traditional proximity stores. Founded in 2020 by Sophia Alj and Ismael Belkhayat, Chari is an e-commerce and fintech app for traditional retailers in North Africa allowing them to order any consumer goods they sell and get it delivered for free in less than 12 hours. The company also offers micro-credit facilities to its retailers.
Freterium is a collaborative SaaS platform that connects organizations, people, and technologies in the logistics value chain to help them move things. Founded in 2018 by Mehdi Cherif Alami and Omar El Kouhene, Freterium’s connected cloud platform provides real-time visibility of shipments, elastic logistics infrastructure (in-house & 3rd party fleets), proprietary routing algorithms, productivity tools, and seamless collaboration that breaks down traditional organizational silos.
FloatPays (Pty) Ltd (South Africa)
Floatpays is an on-demand wage access platform that helps employees access, spend, save and manage their money. Founded in 2019 by Simon Ward, FloatPays app features include financial education, a budget planning tool, cash access, and voucher purchases all from wages earned but unpaid. The company is currently working on a savings product to promote long-term financial resilience.
Union54 offers Card Issuing APIs for African corporates who want to have virtual or physical multi-currency debit cards. Founded in 2021 by Perseus Mlambo and Alessandra Martini, users can use Union54’s API to issue on-demand debit cards to their customers, employees, and merchants. The debit cards are programmable, white-labelled, and can be funded in any currency.
What you should know
YCombinator has invested in over 3,163 companies so far; and as of 2021, has invested in 60 African startups.