Flapmax, a leading data, and AI technology company has selected 12 African startups for the second cohort of the FAST Accelerator startup program, created in partnership with Microsoft to help strengthen and scale Africa's digital ecosystem.
According to Mame-Fatou Gueye, SME Program Manager, Microsoft Africa Transformation Office, "Microsoft believes that African startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are well-positioned to become a bedrock for the African digital economy, with relevant solutions to local societal and economic challenges. Participation in the FAST Accelerator program will help these entrepreneurs capture growth opportunities and expand their market reach."
"Our objective is to empower startups to scale their businesses and create new job opportunities using AI as a catalyst," Gueye added.
"Collaborating with technology partners like Microsoft and Intel, we are assembling a unique fusion of cutting-edge AI technologies, business development strategies, and global-scale growth opportunities for Africa and other emerging markets. Our objective is to empower startups and underrepresented entrepreneurs to rapidly and sustainably scale their businesses and create new job opportunities using AI as a catalyst," says Dave Ojika, founder and CEO of Flapmax.
The FAST Accelerator program received over 1200 applications from 35 countries in Africa, spanning a diverse range of industry sectors, including financial services, healthcare, agriculture, transportation & logistics, clean technology & energy, and creative media & entertainment. Applicants represented a broad mix of cloud-based products and services serving businesses throughout Africa, harnessing AI to drive innovation, enhance efficiency, and address critical challenges in their respective domains.
FAST Accelerator 2023 (FA23) applicants had to be based in Africa, ready to scale or expand within the continent, and have an established product-market fit while addressing one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Out of the 12 startups in the FA23 cohort, nine are Nigerian, and one each from Kenya, Tanzania, and Ghana. Also, fintech startups dominated the cohort.
- Zeeh Africa is a Nigerian AI-powered open banking platform connecting businesses to financial data.
- Cotrust Equity describes itself as the Uber for micro-lending in Africa
- Wallx is a payment and business solution for small business owners, the company is also a Nigerian founded, based in Lagos.
- Moosbu is an all-in-one AI-Powered Operating System for small African businesses. "We give small businesses access to all the marketing, financing, and management tools they need to start, grow, and scale their small business beyond borders in one easy-to-use app," says Joshua Firima Jnr, co-founder of the Nigerian startup.
- Aibanc is a Nigeria-based lending firm that allows customers to access credit through a mobile app (currently available on Android); it is an AI-powered Banking for High Earners Not Rich Yet (HENRY).
- Greenbii is an AI-driven asset financing and software management platform for SMEs
- Zendawa Africa is a Kenyan healthtech service provider that is enabling neighborhood pharmacies to sell online.
- 10mg Pharma is a Nigerian healthtech that employs an AI algorithm based on the code tree model to pair healthcare providers with financing partners who meet specific criteria.
Others: eCommerce, Logistics, Agritech & Entertainment
- Sumundi (eCommerce): Formed in 2018, Sumundi is an eCommerce platform for Africa's retail businesses, starting from its primary market, Ghana.
- Trucki (Logistics), is a Lagos-based logistics startup that is leveraging blockchain and AI to provide a haulage infrastructure that connects cargo stakeholders.
- KCG Aquatec Fish Farming (Agritech) is a Tanzanian startup that is providing aquaculture infrastructure for fish farmers grow their businesses sustainably
- Orange VFX prides itself as Nigeria's foremost 3D Animation and VFX studio.
Effective October 23, the FA23 cohort will participate in a wide array of activities, including training, AI integration, business development, fundraising, and various other events. They will work closely with Intel and Microsoft on co-innovation projects, receive sales and marketing support, and gain go-to-market enablement to broaden their audience reach.
Additionally, members of the Flapmax engineering team will assist startups in applying optimized Large Language AI models (LLMs), as well as in scaling and fine-tuning these models on Microsoft Azure and Intel platforms.
Flapmax has also announced the launch of its digital matching platform, FAST Portal, designed to connect investors with startups.
FAST Portal will be leveraged to facilitate introductions between investors, partners, and startups within the FAST Accelerator community. Corporate partners and organizations are invited to join us in our mission to empower entrepreneurs and innovators in underserved markets around the world.