ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator admits 12 African startups
For its inaugural batch, ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator has admitted 12 African startups from Nigeria and Kenya.
Following its launch in April 2021, ARM Labs Techstars Lagos Accelerator has admitted 12 African startups for the pioneer batch of the three-month program focused on early-stage fintech and proptech startups based in Africa.
The inaugural cohort is made up of 10 Nigerian and two Kenyan startups, with 50% female CEOs. "This is a decision of our belief in the teams; their product, market and traction," Oyin Solebo, MD at ARM Labs Lagos Techstars, told Benjamindada.com over a call.
According to her, Nigeria is arguably the most active and largest ecosystem so it’s normal that more startups came from the West African country. "From the applications we received, these 12 were the best. However, the next cohorts will be more diverse. My vision is for Techstars to be in multiple cities across Africa," she added.
"Lagos has built a successful startup ecosystem that merits more global exposure, investments and resources, and we see extraordinary potential in the market."— Nancy Wolff, General Manager, Techstars.
Each of the selected startups will receive up to $120,000, as well as curated startup programming and access to Techstars’ vast network of 7,000+ mentors, 20,000+ investors, alumni, and corporate partners.
The pioneer batch which commenced in December 2022 has had engagements with over 100 mentors and speakers including Tunde Kehinde; co-founder & CEO, Lidya, Bode Abifarin; COO, Flutterwave, Fara Ashiru Jituboh; Founder & CEO, Okra and Amandine Lobelle; COO, Paystack. The demo day will be in Lagos on March 16, 2023.
Meet the inaugural batch of ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator
Speaking on the choice of sectors, especially fintech and proptech startups, Ms Solebo said "it is an evaluation of where there is market potential. Also, since it's a partner programme with ARM Labs, property and financial services is where a lot of their expertise and network is."
However, she noted that the Lagos-based accelerator might diversify its investments into other sectors in the coming years. The Lagos-based Techstars Accelerator is designed to run for three years, investing in 36 startups across three batches.
Below is the inaugural cohort of the ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator Program:
alphabloQ is a real estate investment platform founded by Trevor Kimani and John Mbui. The startup's mission is simple- to reduce the entry barrier for real estate investors by enabling investors to purchase a fraction of income-generating properties.
peppa.io, founded by Banky Alao, Bridget Yadua-Soremekun and Emmanuel Obute, is making it safer to buy on social platforms for Africans through the use of payment protection.
"Being accepted into the Techstars accelerator was an unmistakable validation of peppa.io," said Banky Alao, CEO of peppa.io, a fintech services company dedicated to payment protection. "The program has set us on a sure path to exponential growth and impact. Absolutely the best thing to happen to us."
CDcare is making it easy for Africans to own gadgets, appliances, cars and more at zero interest, through smart instalment plans. The company was founded by Tobi Odukoya and Deji Farohun.
Founded by Ebby Gatamu and Kibe John, Cladfy provides microfinance lenders with credit profiling, digitised loan management, and access to affordable, reliable financing.
"I am delighted about our selection into the Techstars family because traditionally, as an African, female, fintech founder, the odds are often stacked against you," said Ebby Gatamu, Co-founder Cladfy. "This program has not only taught us to focus on the problem and our customers, but also led us to meet and interact with phenomenal people we'd otherwise possibly never have met."
Flick is building PayPal for Africa; enabling users to connect multiple bank accounts and pay directly from one source, making payments 7x faster. Ruth Olojede and Dipo Gbadebo are the founders of the company.
Keble, founded by Emmanuel Oballa, Agulanna Josemaria, Adebisi Borokinni and Valentine Offiah, enables Africans at home and abroad to purchase fractional shares of global real estate for as low as $10.
Keza is powering smartphone financing by enabling people to buy brand-new and certified pre-owned smartphones on a flexible payment plan. Keza Africa was founded by Aisha Hussaini.
Salad was founded by Chikodi Ukaiwe and Seunfunmi Omotunde and is providing employees with access to financial services and benefits beyond their monthly paycheck.
Sidebrief simplifies the process of starting and scaling a business across borders, with its one-stop solution for registration, banking and regulatory compliance. The company was founded by Eunice Olopade, Abdulwaheed Yusuf and Usman Sotunde.
Towntalk, founded by Folake Edun, Disun Vera-Cruz and Tomiwa Erinosho, is building Area!–a protection platform giving companies peace of mind when moving goods and people from point A to B, by providing real-time location and behavioural analytics, vehicle tracking and access to insurance providers.
Vittas is a digital lender for healthcare providers, using machine learning, partnerships and embedded 3rd party SaaS solutions to provide loans for the purchase of medications and medical equipment. Vittas was founded by Sulav Singh, Collins Uche and Eric Okemmadu.
Founded by Ifedolapo Lawal, Olusola Onajobi and Omotayo Iginla, Oystr is democratizing credit in Africa. The company provides lenders with an infrastructure to help them launch low-risk micro-loan products, grow their portfolios and expand into new markets in less than 30 minutes.
Related Article: An analysis of Techstars' investment in Africa since 2015
"The excitement of supporting an accelerator program lies in the potential to ignite the spark of innovation and watch as it transforms into a blazing fire of impact and change. As ARM partners with Techstars to launch an accelerator program that provides funding, mentorship, and access to networks and resources, our goal is to unearth the next set of Unicorns out of Africa," Ina Alogwu, Group Director, Digital Transformation, ARMHoldCo, said in a statement shared with Benjamindada.com.