It’s an interesting fact to reiterate that the number of African startups participating in Y Combinator’s 2021 summer batch has increased beyond the usual.
Compared to other cohorts, the highest number of African startups participating in the programme has been recorded to be 15.
377 startups from 47 countries were selected to take part in the Y Combinator 2021 summer programme. This is a huge difference from the 198 startups involved in the programme last year.
The 2021 edition of the Silicon Valley-based Y Combinator accelerator will make a seed investment of $125,000 in each startup, and also give them the opportunity for more investment opportunities at a demo day.
On Demo Day, which started yesterday, 189 companies pitched their ideas, while the remaining 188 startups were slated to pitch today.
Among the 15 startups from Africa, Nigeria had the highest number of companies, five, while Egypt with four startups, Morocco with two startups, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia and South Africa with one startup each, followed.
The startups from Nigeria include Infiuss Health, founded by Melissa Bime and Mbah Charles in 2020, and building a platform for remote research and clinical trials to make healthcare seamless and accessible in Africa; Lemonade Finance was founded by Rian Cochran and Ridwan Olalere in 2020 to provide multi-currency accounts allowing migrants to carry out transactions and banking with ease.
Mecho Autotech, a digital maintenance and repairs company founded this year by Ayoola Akinkunmi and Olusegun Owoade; Payhippo was founded in 2019 to resolve the issue of credit accessibility among SMEs. Zach Bijesse, Uche Nnadi and Chioma Okotcha and the brains behind this company.
As the name implies, Suplias is a B2B marketplace digitising informal retail trade in Nigeria. The startup was launched in 2019 by Stephen Igwue, Michael Adesanya and Sefa Ikyaator
The four startups from Egypt include Amenli, an insurance company founded by Shady El Tohfa and Adham Nauman in 2020; Odiggo, a vehicle service company operating in the Middle East; Pylon is a water and electricity distribution company founded by Ahmed Ashour and Omar Radi in 2017; and ShipBlu offers delivery services to traders and started in 2020.
The company has been driven by the bright minds of its founders, Ahmed ElKawass, Abdelrahman Hosny and Ali Nasser.
Chari, an e-commerce and fintech startup founded by Sophia Alj and Ismael Belkhayat in 2020, and Freterium, a collaborative SaaS value chain startup founded by Omar El Kouhene and Mehdi Cherif Alami in 2018, are the two startups from Morocco.
Fingo is the only startup from Kenya. Founded by Kiiru Muhoya Gitari Tirima James da Costa and Ian Njuguna in 2020, the fintech company makes banking accessible and affordable to Africans. South Africa’s Floatpays was founded by Simon Ward in 2019 to make finances accessible at a low-interest rate.
Yemaachi Biotechnology is the Ghanaian startup among the cohorts ensuring the reduction of the economic burden of cancer by developing novel, non-invasive and affordable molecular diagnostics. The startup was founded by Yaw Attua-Afari, Yaw Bediako, David Hutchful and Joyce Ngoi in 2020.
The final startup is Zambia’s Union54, founded by Alessandra Martini and Perseus Mlambo in 2021. The company leverages an API that allows business owners to receive multi-currency debit cards.
Y Combinator continually invests in tech startups through its accelerator programme. Flutterwave, Paystack, Kobo360, Cowrywise MarketForce, Kudi, WaystoCap, WorkPay, Healthlane, Trella, 54gene, CredPal, NALA and Breadfast are some of its portfolio companies. The accelerator’s impact reaches a global audience of entrepreneurs.