MEST Africa Announces $700,000 Funding for Seven African Startups
The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology Africa (MEST Africa) has announced seven startups that will receive $700,000 in funding. The relatively quiet funding round is part of the incubator’s 10 year anniversary investing in African startups.
— MEST Africa (@MESTAfrica) September 10, 2018
The seven newly funded startups are part of the MEST 2018 Cohorts. Territorially, these startups have been widely selected from across Africa. These include Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Cote d’Ivoire. And according to Forbes, these startups were selected after completing MEST’s 12-month training program. Each startup receives $100,000 as well as support and mentorship from MEST.
The selected startups are described below:
Kicking off in Kenya is on a path towards being the Airbnb for warehouses. Their founders are driven by a mission to democratize and bring efficiency to warehouses that have been out of reasonable reach for many SMEs.
Nvoicia, which will be launching almost simultaneously in Lagos and Accra, will use machine learning to unlock liquidity for SMEs via accessible and consistently assessed invoice discounting.
The startup has a founding team obsessed with ground logistics. They have spent the last few months in cross-country trucks, parked trucks, with trucking unions, in the ports, and in warehouses. Now armed with these insights are bringing efficiencies to an industry with so much spare capacity in Africa, utilizing robust and affordable software and hardware tailored for the land freight ecosystem in Africa.
This startup from Ghana is starting with waste management as a cornerstone sector but has already seen incredible interest from all forms of businesses requiring remote workforce management.
This Nigerian startup uses AI to empower lawyers in Africa. It’s just weeks into launch has already secured a customer in one of the continent’s largest law firms. But beyond Africa, I’m thrilled at how there is strong applicability for their solution through all common law jurisdictions globally.
CodeIn solves a problem everyone in the tech industry in Africa is keenly aware of: efficiently and consistently testing and hiring software developers, by providing an end-to-end testing and hiring platform. CodeIn hopes to unlock work opportunities for freelance software developers in Africa and the world.
Bace brings cutting-edge facial recognition technology to bear on the problem of identity and KYC in Africa, beginning with financial institutions that have some of the strictest KYC requirements of any industry, the founding team hopes to scale this provide identity verification universally on the continent.
About MEST Africa
MEST Africa is a part of Meltwater, a global leader in media intelligence and analytics. MEST Africa is an entrepreneurial training program, seed fund, and incubator for African startups founders.
“When MEST was founded a decade ago, the goal was to find a way to create wealth and jobs here in Africa by nurturing the massive amount of talent that exists on the continent”, said Jorn Lysedden. Lysedden is CEO Meltwater, which now rakes in over $300 million a year. The incubator has done great so far.
Applications for the #MEST Class of 2020 are now open!
Apply to join the next cohort of aspiring Pan-African tech entrepreneurs for a 1-year training program, access to global mentors, and the chance to receive seed funding.
— MEST Africa (@MESTAfrica) September 11, 2018
The 12-month program holds in Accra, Ghana and offers participants a fully-sponsored training program dubbed Entrepreneurs in Training (EITs). Participants are equipped with graduate-level courses. Some of which are software development, business development, and communications. Other skills include entrepreneurship, sales & marketing, as well as prototyping.
Following the end of the training, however, participants must identify challenges they are passionate about solving. They will build teams and attempt to develop viable solutions to the problems.
They will also develop business plans and develop investor pitches for their solutions. Successful pitches score entrepreneurs seed funding to grow their ideas. After which, they will join one of MEST’s regional hubs in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa or Kenya.
🇿🇦”Innovation is borne out of stimulated minds & difference of perspective. Hackathons bring these components together for positive & constructive outcomes. The purpose behind #M2Hack is particularly applicable as healthcare is key to societal health, wealth & dignity.”@olafaab pic.twitter.com/MqsEalqu2N
— MEST Africa (@MESTAfrica) September 9, 2018
This has been the cycle at MEST Africa over the years. And over the last 10 years, the incubator has been phenomenal in supporting startups on the continent.
Since 2017, the incubator runs different accelerator programs across Africa’s developed cities. These include Lagos, Nairobi, Accra, and Cape Town. And since 2008, MEST Africa has invested over $20 million into African startups and African entrepreneurs.
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