Pangea, a platform connecting African startups with international investment and expertise, has shortlisted 11 start-ups which will be considered for funding of up to US $50,000 (Kshs 5 million) per startup. The 11 start-ups are drawn from Kenya (9), Egypt (1) and Nigeria (1).
The selection panel, consisting of experts from Innovation Norway, BDO EA, Mastercard Foundation and Longitude Finance, commented that the selection process was a tough exercise. “The initial expectation was that we would settle on 10 companies but we ended up with a list of 11. This is evidence that a good number of the start-ups made a strong business case. We were spoilt for choice” said Jane Save Ndungo, a senior market advisor at Innovation Norway.
(TOP: One of the participants making her pitch before the panel).
On his part, Pangea CEO Jonas Tesfu congratulated all the participating companies observing that the local business environment stands quite attractive for investors.” I have no doubt that investors will find good opportunities for investment based on the quality of businesses represented on the Pangea program.”
Pangea has been running an acceleration program, in partnership with Liquid Telecom,@iBizAfrica among other partners, for 40 start-ups aimed at providing milestone-based capacity-building for 12 weeks. The collaboration with Strathmore’s @iBizAfrica has seen start-ups benefit from business and innovation experts drawn from different business and innovation scenes. Through Liquid Telecom the startups have had access to technical expertise and mentorship from tech giants, such as Liquid Telecom’s CTO, Ben Roberts. Moreover, Microsoft has provide the accelerator’s startups with free Microsoft Azure.
Pangea plans to launch a crowd investment platform in June 2018, allowing accelerated startups further access to funding. This will provide most of the start-ups on the acceleration program to meet potential funders even though they do not appear on the current list of 11. Pangea’s CEO, Jonas clarifies that there will still be efforts geared towards linking most of the start-ups on the acceleration program with potential funders and other resource providers depending on their needs. In particular, Pangea, itself founded by Africans in the diaspora, aims to engage the African diaspora in investing in African startups through its crowd investment platform.
Here are the 11 on the list:
Tozzaplus – TozzaPlus is a cloud business management tool for small businesses with an integrated accounting, invoicing, payroll, payouts and CRM modules.
Acacia Innovation – Accacia Innovation supplys biomass briquettes to schools and small businesses. They also have an innovative ‘cookstove + briquette subscription model’.
Onesha – Onesha is an online marketplace for Africa’s top creatives where businesses get access to vetted and sorted pool of creatives in diverse categories who can deliver on specific tasks at the business’ budget.
Yusudi – This is a blended Learning program which provides life skills development program aimed at enabling people to grow their career as employees or entrepreneurs.
Biasharabot – Biasharabot is a marketing tool which helps in handling customer queries, makes shopping and checkout process simpler, and also enables easy options for marketing.
Skolera – Skolera provides a suite of tools for the 5 actors involved in the educational process This promotes full digitisation and distribution of resources, assessment, collaboration and communication, monitoring and supervision and finally reporting.
Lakeview Fisheries – Creates a network of micro franchise fish vendors deployed in some of LVF’s 500 locations within Nairobi. The cold chain solution is easily portable and takes into account constraints such as lack of electricity.
Sure Corporation – Sure Corporation runs Safiri Express a reliable, affordable and comfortable pre-booked shuttle service in Nairobi.
HelpMum – HelpMum is a health technology that uses the power of mobile technology and low cost innovation to tackle maternal and infant death in Africa.
SaveKubwa – Guides customers to access the right motor insurance. On the platform, insurance companies can also login and access customer data and documents of policies they have sold, they also set up their Motor polices using our proprietary Policy generator.
Usalama – The Usalama app is a platform that connects users and emergency service providers (ambulance, security, police, road-side assistance) in a quick and efficient manner, utilizing real-time user data, and an integrated web-based backend portal.