Kenya Dominates as 16 African Startups are Listed Among USAID $18.4m Grant Winners

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Kenya Dominates as 16 African Startups are Listed Among USAID $18.4m Grant Winners
Kenya Dominates as 16 African Startups are Listed Among USAID $18.4m Grant Winners

16 African startups have been named among the 18 new grantees that will be receiving the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) US$18.4 million fund to support the agency’s cutting-edge innovations. Kenya dominates the list of grantees that spanned seven different sectors and nine countries.

According to Disrupt-Africa, while the total amount of funding provided to the 18 companies comes to a combined US$18.4 million, individual grants were not disclosed.

The Grant is released through a phased funding model – with first-time grantees receiving between US$25,000 and US$150,000 covering up to three years. Phase two projects can apply for up to US$1.5 million, and stage three projects are eligible to apply for up to US$15 million. However, USAID said the majority of the 18 grantees announced are first time recipients.

The grantees include:

Apollo Agriculture (Kenya): a startup which leverages satellite imagery and machine learning to provide advice for smallholder farmer

FarmDrive (Kenya): a machine learning-based credit assessment model for smallholder farmers

Keheala (Kenya): USSD-based tuberculosis management service

PayGo Energy (Kenya): a pay-as-you-go fuel stove distributor

Powerhive (Kenya): a solar microgrid provider

PowerGen (Kenya): a solar microgrid provider

Sanivation (Kenya): a startup that provides affordable sanitation solutions, and processes waste into fuel briquettes

Tulaa (Kenya): a mobile money-based financial services for smallholder farmers providers

BURN Manufacturing (Kenya): a startup that provides alternative Cooking stove for rural dwellers

Instiglio (Uganda): a results-based financing intermediary

One Acre Fund (Malawi): delivers agricultural services to small-scale farmers

YLabs (Rwanda): designs and evaluates innovations in adolescent HIV service delivery

Pivot Works (Rwanda): city-scale treatment solution that turns human waste into renewable fuel

Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator (South Africa): provides data on youth employment

Devergy (Tanzania): provides energy 24 hours a day for rural dwellers using Solar

J-PAL Africa (Zambia): a network of 158 affiliated professors from 51 universities focused on research, policy outreach, and training

The two remaining grantees hail from Brazil, and India.

This is a good one for the continent especially as the selected grantees are focused on solving imminent local challenges. Recall that Godwin Benson’s Tuteria won the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation for 2016. The 27-year-old won the prize in May with his innovative education platform, Tuteria alongside a £25,000 (10.3 Million Naira) cash prize.

We look forward to the impact these startups will have on the development of the continent in the nearest future.


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