The GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund provides selected start-ups in Africa and Asia with grant funding, technical assistance, and the opportunity to partner with mobile operators in their markets to help scale their products and services into sustainable businesses with positive socio-economic impact.
The Fund’s first round was opened for applications in July 2016 and received hundreds of applications from start-ups in Africa and Asia working on the sharing economy and services for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and addressing the Sustainable Development Goals.
After months of careful due diligence and fleshing out full applications, the Fund Panel of experts in the field of mobile technology, development, and impact investment selected the first portfolio of 9 grantees from across Africa and Asia:
eSewa aims to make financial services accessible to unbanked populations in Nepal and to provide them with business opportunities through mobile phones.
Kytabu is a leasing application for textbooks that are downloadable from any internet-enabled device on the online library or preinstalled on a Kytabu tablet.
Optimetriks: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda
Optimetriks is a developing solutions for customers to provide feedback and data for companies operating in Africa to better serve their needs.
PrepClass is a tutoring marketplace that connects learners and tutors through an online platform.
Raye 7: Egypt
Raye7 is a culturally sensitive carpooling solution for daily commuting which uses the trust reflected in social networks using mobile services.
Ruangguru develops a freemium learning management system that helps students prepare for exams and teachers crowdsource educational content.
SafeMotos’ mobile-based platform increases road safety and enables more transparent market interaction between motorcycle taxi drivers and customers.
Twiga Foods: Kenya
UX’s product Biscate connects workers in the informal sector (plumbers, painters, mechanics etc.) to customers through USSD and web technologies.
“We are extremely excited to start working with these innovative entrepreneurs, in particular to help them explore synergies with mobile operators, and how to leverage mobile technology to its fullest to maximize socio-economic impact. Stay tuned for more information on the progress of these projects”, stated Max Cuvellier, Head of the GSMA’s Ecosystem Accelerator programme in a blog post.
The Ecosystem Accelerator programme’s next round will open for applications on June 1, 2017 with all pitches due on July 16, 2017.