The number of African startups participating in this year’s Y Combinator program has increased beyond the usual. Compared to the other cohorts, African startups participating in the program this 2021 has been recorded to be 15.
From 47 countries, 377 startups have been selected to take part in 2021’s Y Combinator summer program. This is a huge difference from the 198 startups that was recorded in 2020.
The 2021 edition of silicon Valley-based Y Combinator accelerator will make a seed investment of $125,000 in each startup, and also give them the opportunity for more investment opportunities at demo day.
On Demo day, 189 companies pitched their ideas, while the remaining 188 companies were to follow suit on the days to follow.
Among the 15 startups from Africa, Nigeria had the highest number of companies with 5, Egypt followed with 4, Morocco had 2, Kenya, Ghana, Gambia and South Africa came last with 1 startup each.
The startups from Nigeria included Infiuss Health with Melissa Bime and Mbah Charles as founders. The startup is focused on building a platform for remote research and clinical trials to make healthcare seamless and accessible in Africa; Lemonade Finance founded by Rian Cochran Ridwan Olalere in 2020 to provide multi-currency accounts allowing migrants to carry out transactions and banking with ease. Mecho Autotech, a digital maintenance and repairs company founded this year by Ayoola Akinkunmi and Olusegun Owoade, Payhippo founded in 2019 to resolve the issue of credit among SMEs, founded by Zach Bijesse, Uche Nnadi and Chioma Okotcha, Suplias, a B2B marketplace digitizing informal retail trade in Nigeria, also launched in 2019 by Stephen Igwue, Micheal Adesanya and Sefa Ikyaator.
The four startups in Egypt include: Amenli, an insurance company founded by Shady El Tohfa and Adham nauman in 2020; Odiggo, a vehicle service company operating in the Middle East; Pylon is a water and electricity distribution company founded by Ahmed Ashour and Omar Radi in 2017; and ShipBlu founded in 2020 by Ahmed Elkawass, Abdelrahman Hosny and Ali Nasser, founded to offer delivery services to traders.
Chari, an e-commerce and fintech startup founded by Sophia Alj and Ismael Belkhayat in 2020, and Freterium, a collaborative SaaS value chain startup founded by Omar El Kouhene and Mehdi Cherif Alami in 2018, are the 2 startups slated from Morocco.
Kiiru Muhoya Gitari Tirima James da Costa and Ian Njuguna founded Fingo in 2020, to present affordable and accessible banking solutions to Africans. Fingo was the only startup from Kenya.
Yemaachi Biotechnology founded by yaw Attua-Afari, Yaw Bediako, David Hutchful, Joyce Ngoi, is aimed at reducing the economic burden of cancer by developing novel, non-invasive and affordable molecular diagnostics. This was the only startup from Ghana.
From South Africa, the startup present, Floatpays founded by Simon Ward in 2019 is aimed at making finances available at a low-interest rate.
From Zambia, Union 54, founded by Alessandra Martini and Perseus Mlambo in 2021, uses API to allow business owners receive multi-currency debit cards.
Y Combinator is not investing in startups for the first time this 2021. It has been investing in startups via its accelerator program. Paystack, Cowrywise MarketForce, WaystoCap, WorkPay, Healthlane, 54gene, CredPal, NALA, are just a few that have benefited from Y Combinator’s accelerator investment. On a very good side, the accelerator’s impact is on a global scale for all entrepreneurs.