ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator, a Lagos-based programme for building early-stage African fintech and proptech startups, has unveiled 12 startups selected for its inaugural class.
The cohort is made up of 10 Nigerian and 2 Kenyan startups, with 50% female CEOs.
The accelerator will invest up to $120,000 in each startup, train and give them access to a vast investor network.
According to a statement by Techstars, the startups were selected through a rigorous process, which include several interviews with members of the Techstars global team, and a final interview with Techstars Managing Director, Oyin Solebo and a 15-member screening committee. Some members of this committee included Ashim Octerra – Managing Partner, Octerra Capital, Olumide Soyombo – Voltron Capital, and Charlene Chen – Former COO of AZA Finance among others.
Meet the startups: Among the selected startups is alphabloQ, a real estate investment platform founded by Trevor Kimani and John Mbui.
There is also peppa.io which was founded by Banky Alao, Bridget Yadua-Soremekun and Emmanuel Obute and specialise in making it safer to buy on social platforms.
CDcare was founded by Tobi Odukoya and Deji Farohun and makes it easy for Africans to own gadgets, appliances, cars, and more at zero interest, through smart instalment plans.
Other startups include:
- Cladfy: Founded by Ebby Gatamu and Kibe John to provide microfinance lenders with credit profiling, digitised loan management, and access to affordable, reliable financing.
- Flick: Founded by Ruth Olojedeand Dipo Gbadebo to build PayPal for Africa and enable users to connect multiple bank accounts and pay directly from one source, making payments 7x faster.
- Keble: Founded by Emmanuel Oballa, Agulanna Josemaria, Adebisi Borokinni, and Valentine Offiah, it enables Africans at home and abroad to purchase fractional shares of global real estate for as low as $10.
- Keza is powering smartphone financing by enabling people to buy brand-new and certified pre-owned smartphones on a flexible payment plan. Keza Africa was founded by Aisha Hussaini.
- Salad was founded by Chikodi Ukaiwe and Seunfunmi Omotunde and is providing employees with access to financial services and benefits beyond their monthly paychecks.
- Sidebrief simplifies the process of starting and scaling a business across borders, with its one-stop solution for registration, banking, and regulatory compliance. The company was founded by Eunice Olopade, Abdulwaheed Yusuf and Usman Sotunde.
- Towntalk, founded by Folake Edun, Disun Vera-Cruz and Tomiwa Erinosho, is building Area!–a protection platform giving companies peace of mind when moving goods and people from point A to B, by providing real-time location and behavioural analytics, vehicle tracking and access to insurance providers.
- Vittas is a digital lender for healthcare providers, using machine learning, partnerships and embedded 3rd party SaaS solutions to provide loans for the purchase of medications and medical equipment. Vittas was founded by Sulav Singh, Collins Uche and Eric Okemmadu.
- Founded by Ifedolapo Lawal, Olusola Onajobi, and Omotayo Iginla, Oystr is democratizing credit in Africa. The company provides lenders with an infrastructure to help them launch low-risk micro-loan products, grow their portfolios and expand into new markets in less than 30 minutes.
Potential industry leaders: Speaking on the quality of startups that have been selected, Techstars’ Managing Director, Oyin Solebo, said:
- “Since the announcement that Techstars was coming to Lagos, there has been great anticipation about the selection of the inaugural cohort. After a competitive application process, we have chosen entrepreneurs who have the capacity to be exceptional founders, startups that have the potential to be industry leaders, and a cohort that is collectively capable of bringing innovation and change to Africa and the world.”
The founders officially began the 13-week program on the 5th of December 2022, and have had engagements with over 100 mentors and speakers including Tunde Kehinde – Co-founder & CEO, Lidya, Bode Abifarin- COO, Flutterwave, Fara Ashiru Jituboh – Founder & CEO, Okra and Amandine Lobelle – COO, Paystack.
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