The Savannah Fund launched its next cohort of startups for its accelerator yesterday (Wednesday), with them beginning work at the m:lab office space in Nairobi, Kenya.
The four startups come from four countries and were selected after a month long competitive process, including 80 applications.
The startups began pitching at the Savannah Fund Demo Day yesterday and are directly related to innovations around commerce in Africa, hailing from Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria.
“Whilst we received less applications this batch than the last (180), the quality was higher. Twenty-two per cent of the applicants reported to have generated revenue compared to 15 per cent from the last application pool. Seventy-two per cent of startups had a prototype versus 62 per cent in the previous class,” said a Savannah Fund statement.
The startups include Cardplanet Solutions (Kenya), a payment solution where mobile money meets cards initially targeting students and schools, Inforex (Uganda), a network of foreign exchange providers within Africa allowing them to check and trade currencies amongst each other, Zatiti (Kenya), a website/mobile web builder and e-commerce platform for small merchants in East Africa, and Zished (Ghana & Nigeria), a gifting and loyalty e-commerce platform targeting both local, diaspora Africans and corporate entities starting in Ghana.
On Saturday, the startups had their their accelerator session with two mentors from Silicon Valley, who shared lessons around building a company from financing to monetisation.
The Savannah Fund specialises in US$25,000-US$500,000 investments in early stage high growth technology (web and mobile) startups in Sub-Saharan Africa where the fund aims to bridge the early stage/angel and venture capital investment gap that currently exists on the continent.