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Startup

These African startups made it into Y Combinator accelerator programme

10 African startups made it to this year’s Y Combinator accelerator programme.

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Y Combinator, an American seed funding accelerator that provides seed funding for startups every year hosted their demo day a few days ago. Twice a year (Winter and Summer Batch), Y Combinator invests $125k in selected startups, in exchange for 7% equity.

The winter 2021 batch saw selected startups receive US$125,000 in seed funding as well as further investment opportunities. 319 startups from 41 countries were represented within this virtual edition of the program, with 50 percent of them based outside the United States (US).

Africa wasn’t left out as we had 10 participants, five of the startups were from Nigeria, three from Egypt, one from Ivory Coast, and one from Kenya.

These Nigerian startups got into Y Combinator winter 2021 batch.

READ: 4 Nigerians out of 10 Africans make Jack Ma’s $1m Netpreneur Prize 

Mono (Nigeria)

Mono is an API fintech platform that helps businesses in Africa access their customers’ financial accounts for data and payments. Founded in 2020 by Prakhar Singh and ex-Paystack employee Abdul Hassan, the company enables companies and developers to access financial accounts for historical and real-time transactions, balances, bank statements, credits, and spending patterns of a customer.

Blueloop – Flux (Nigeria)

Blue loop is a platform that combines the best features of decentralized finance and fiat to help people send money in and out of the country seamlessly. Founded by Ben Eluan, Osezele Orukpe, and Israel Akintunde, the payment startup wants to solve issues with remittances through its remittance product, Flux.

READ: 3 startup lessons from Kobo360’s $30 million fund raise

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Prospa (Nigeria)

Prospa is a challenger bank founded by Frederick Obasi and Rodney Jackson-Cole that helps micro-businesses make international payments to more than ten countries including China, Kenya, the UK, and the US.

Sendbox (Nigeria)

Sendbox helps small e-commerce merchants who sell directly to customers through their own online channels or social media platforms with fulfillment.

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The company was founded by Emotu Balogun, and Olusegun Afolahan to help merchants deliver goods within and outside Nigeria. They now handle local and international fulfillment for over 7,500 merchants within Nigeria.

READ: From Pre-Seed to Series D: Startup Funding Rounds Explained

Vendease (Nigeria)

Vendease allows restaurants in Africa to buy food supplies. Founded by Tunde Kara, Olumide Fayankin, Gatumi Aliyu, and Wale Oyepeju founded

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The startup allows restaurants in Africa, order directly from farms and food manufacturers.

Other African startups in YC Winter 2021 batch are;

Djamo (Ivory Coast)

Djamo, is a financial super app for consumers in Francophone Africa where less than 25% of the population is banked. Founded by Hassan Bourgi and Regis Bamba, the startup is building seamless and affordable banking solutions to break into the huge untapped market and bring millions of people into financial inclusion.

Dayra (Egypt)

Dayra is a Data-driven embedded Financial Services for Gig Workers. Founded by Omar Ekram, Dayra makes it easy for Egyptian businesses to offer Loans and virtual bank accounts to their unbanked workers and customers through their App.

Kidato (Kenya)

Kidato is an Edtech platform that seeks to bring world-class education to school pupils at a much cheaper rate and with much better conditions than private schools. The startup was founded by Sam Gichuru

NowPay (Egypt)

NowPay is building a financial-wellness platform for employees in emerging markets. founded by ex-employees of IBM, Microsoft, Orange, and Amazon, Sabry Abuelenien and Mostafa Ashour, the startup helps corporates offer salary advances to employees, helps with savings, budgeting, and borrowing.

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Flextock (Egypt)

Flextock is a tech-enabled fulfillment provider in the Middle East & Africa. Founded by Mohamed Mossaad and Enas Siam, the startup manages business inventory, pick, pack, and ship orders, as well as real-time visibility.

What you should know

  • Since 2005, YC has funded over 3,000 startups and the companies have a combined valuation of over $300B.
  • According to YC 47 African startups have gone through its program so far and 22 are from Nigeria.
  • Earlier this year, YC released a list of its top investments with a minimum valuation of $150 million and Flutterwave, Africa’s leading payments technology company made the list.
  • Applications for the Summer 2021 batch are currently on, interested founders can apply here.

Janet John is a graduate of Chemical Engineering from the University of Uyo. She specializes in technical writing where she creates easy to read documentation, articles to clearly and efficiently explain highly complex processes. When she is not writing, she works as a freelance front-end developer

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Atsu Davoh is building ways for Africans to easily acquire and spend cryptocurrency

Atsu Davoh has gone from failed projects to running one of Ghana’s most innovative startups.

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In recent times, the tech space in Africa has experienced immense growth, with the introduction of several key players and disruptors across various sectors. One sector that is also rising is the cryptocurrency space with Africa experiencing greater crypto ownership and trade volume.

The number of Bitcoins processed on a single day reached its highest value at the beginning of 2021, as more people displayed interest in the cryptocurrency. Due to its fast adoption, more fintech players have created platforms that have made trading with cryptocurrency easier. One of such players is Atsu Davoh who calls himself the “product guy.”

Atsu Davoh dropped out of college (Carleton College) in the United States and moved back to Ghana to help innovate on Africa’s financial infrastructure. Atsu first discovered Bitcoin in 2017 during the first boom when it became mainstream. Before then, he and his co-founder Samuel Baohen had been involved in many failed projects.

He developed a USSD system where people could buy bitcoin through their phone numbers, like tying crypto to phone numbers in a native way. This was one of the first iterations of Bitsika.

Atsu was invited to Join Binance Labs Incubator by Yele Bademosi where he got $150,000 after graduating from the incubator. Bitsika went on to raise around $900,000 from investors. This brought the total seed raised to $1,050,000.

This USSD system worked in Ghana but didn’t work in Nigeria. Atsu and his team then pivoted the platform to a donation crowdfunding platform, which allowed people living in other countries to send donations to African nationals in need of the funds before finally building it into a cross-border crypto remittance platform.

Bitsika users can deposit and remit money across multiple currencies using the app, with all monies deposited in Bitsika stored in USD credits or stable-coin.

Bitsika has over 50,000+ downloads on Playstore and processed nearly $40 million in 2020 with $18,872,474 in deposits, $17,890,807 in payouts (withdrawals), and $3,189,834 in internal peer-to-peer transfers.

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Despite a few unfavourable regulations surrounding cryptocurrency in Africa, the market has shown no signs of slowing down as more people are building products that will make trading seamless.

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MSME

Paystack partners Google to empower SMEs in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa

Paystack partners with Google to empower over 500,000 SMEs in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.

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Paystack partners with Google to Empower SMEs in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa

Tech startup, Paystack has disclosed that it partnered with Google to aid over 500,000 Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

This was revealed via its Twitter handle.

READ: Airtel is partnering Standard Chartered Bank as it expands its fintech business

Shola Akinlade, Founder of the company, stated that the partnership would enable the reliability of their work, “which would guarantee that all businesses paid via Paystack are thoroughly checked for legitimacy and credibility.

“In a low-trust environment like Nigeria, where many people are paying online for the first time, it’s important to deliver a safe, fraud-free experience, and this is a responsibility that Paystack takes extremely seriously.”

READ: Nairametrics announces Strategic Data Partnership with Statista

Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website

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(READ MORE:Paypal to offer Cryptos by early 2021)

Why it matters: Paystack’s partnership with Google is to help SMEs to grow and digitise their businesses with new tools, financial support, and training. This would also help business communities in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa to rapidly grow.

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What you should know: Google is an American multinational technology company that specializes in internet-related services and products.

READBTC bounty: 69,000 Bitcoins worth $700 million waiting for you

Nairametrics reported that the company had a partnership with Truecaller in 2018 to aid in the facilitation of online payments across Africa. The deal states that Paystack will use Truecaller’s database of verified phone numbers to authenticate payments for transactions executed on its platform.

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