Ten African startups have made it into the Y Combinator Winter ’21 batch.

Y Combinator is a Silicon Valley-based accelerator that provides seed funding for startups. Twice a year, the accelerator invests $125,000 in startups for a 7% equity.

The startups go through a training stage that comes in two cohorts: winter and summer. The winter batch runs from January through March,  while the summer batch runs from June through August.

During the program, YC connects the selected startups to a network of YC alumni, founders, investors, and tech executives. The program exposes startups to everything they need to build a successful business.

The YC accelerator program has three major events; Dinners, Office hours, and Demo Day. All three events usually take place in San Francisco. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all cohorts since the beginning of 2020 have held remotely.

Since its inception, YC has invested in over 2500 companies. Earlier this year, the Silicon Valley-based accelerator published a list of its top investments. The list included 130 startups with a minimum valuation of $150 million. The combined valuation of all companies on the list stood at over $300 billion. The list included companies from all over the world including Nigeria's latest tech unicorn - Flutterwave.

As of 2020, Y Combinator had invested in 40 African startups, including 22 from Nigeria.

The 10 African startups and their founders of YC ‘W21

Y Combinator demo day typically signifies the end of the accelerator.  During demo day, founders present their companies to an audience of angel investors and venture capitalists. The presentations are grouped into batches. Every group of presentations has breaks where investors can speak with the founders of the companies they are interested in.

According to TechCrunch, the recently completed YC demo day was the biggest event and lasted up to 8 hours with the 300+ companies pitching back to back.

Of the companies that pitched at the demo day, 10 were from Africa; here they are:

  1. Vendease (Nigeria 🇳🇬): It is a marketplace that allows restaurants in Africa to order food supplies directly from farmers and food manufacturers. Vendease was founded by Tunde Kara, Olumide Fayankin, Gatumi Aliyu, and Wale Oyepeju in 2019.
  2. Prospa (Nigeria 🇳🇬): A fintech startup that eases international payments for businesses. Prospa was founded by Frederik Obasi and Rodney Jackson-Cole in 2019.
  3. Sendbox (Nigeria 🇳🇬): A logistics startup that offers delivery and fulfilment services to individuals and businesses. The founders are Emotu Balogun and Olusegun Afolahan. Sendbox was founded early 2017.
  4. Blueloop-Flux (Nigeria 🇳🇬): A fintech startup that leverages a crypto wallet and a digital banking app to ease cross-border payments in Africa. The founders are Ben Eluan and Osezele Orukpe. Blueloop was founded in 2019.
  5. Mono (Nigeria 🇳🇬): A fintech platform that allows companies to access financial data of a customer’s account. Then, grants them access to debit money from the same bank account. Founders: Abdulhamid Hassan and Prakhar Singh.
  6. Djamo (Côte d'Ivoire 🇨🇮): A challenger Bank for consumers in French-speaking Africa. Djamo wants to leverage its seamless and affordable banking solutions to bring millions of people into financial inclusion. The founders of Djamo are Hassan Bougi and Regis Bamba.
  7. Kidato (Kenya 🇰🇪): This is an ed-tech platform that wants to bridge the African low teacher-to-student ratio. Kidato offers a higher teacher-to-student ratio at affordable pricing. The founder of Kidato is Sam Gichuru.
  8. NowPay (Egypt 🇪🇬): A fintech startup that is building a financial-wellness platform for employees in emerging markets. It allows employees the luxury of their salary before payday. Founders: Mostafa Ashour and Ahmed Sabry.
  9. Dayra (Egypt 🇪🇬): A fintech startup that leverages its software, API, and mobile app, to allow businesses to offer loans and virtual accounts to their unbanked workers and customers. Omar Ekram is the founder of Dayra.
  10. Flextock (Egypt 🇪🇬): This is a tech-enabled fulfilment provider in the Middle East & Africa. Flextock leverages its warehouse and last-mile delivery partners to deliver orders directly to customers. Founders: Mohamed Mossaad and Enas Siam.
Name Industry Founders Year Founded
Vendease Markeplace Tunde Kara, Olumide Fayankin, Gatumi Aliyu, and Wale Oyepeju 2019
Prospa Fintech Frederik Obasi and Rodney Jackson-Cole 2019
Sendbox Logitech Emotu Balogun and Olusegun Afolahan 2016/2017
Blueloop- Flux Fintech Ben Eluan and Osezele Orukpe 2019
Mono Fintech Abdulhamid Hassan and Prakhar Singh 2020
Djamo Fintech Hassan Bougi and Regis Bamba. 2020
Kidato Edtech Sam Gichuru 2020
Nowpay Fintech Mostafa Ashour and Ahmed Sabry 2019
Dayra Fintech Omar Ekram 2020
Flextock Logitech Mohamed Mossaad and Enas Siam. 2020

Applications for the Summer 2021 batch is currently on, interested founders can apply here.