Five Nigerian Startups will be pitching at Africa Startup Summit

From zero participation last year to having 50% representation, five Nigerian startups, namely HouseAfrica, Limestart, OkwuEco, Riby and ThankUCash, will Pitch Live at 2020 Africa Startup Summit

Five Nigerian Startups will be pitching at Africa Startup Summit

Eleven startups across Africa have been selected to participate in the 2020 Africa Startup Summit that will be holding in Kigali, Rwanda, next month. Among the 11 startups are five Nigerian startups: HouseAfrica, Limestart, OkwuEco, Riby and ThankUCash.

Following a remarkable 2019, Nigerian startups are beginning the year with a bang. More than 20 Nigerian startups cut $1,000,000+ deals last year. Notable among them are: Interswitch ($200 million), OPay ($170 million), Andela ($100 million), PalmPay ($40 million), Kobo360 ($30 million), Jiji ($21 million), Migo [formerly] ($20 million), Rensource ($20 million), FairMoney ($11.1 million), and Arnergy ($9 million).

The Africa Startup Summit, powered by Disrupt Africa, is part of the three-day Africa Tech Summit that will take place on February 4—6, 2020, at Kigali Convention Centre. In addition to the Startup Summit, where the selected startups will 'Pitch Live', the Tech Summit also features the Money & Blockchain Summit and the Future Summit.

There is no prize-money or acceleration programme attached to the Startup Summit's Pitch Live. Tom Jackson, co-founder of Disrupt Africa, told, "There is no prize and no winners. The value is the opportunity to pitch to our very high-level audience, which includes potential investors, corporate partners and customers. Many deals were done last year"

Africa Tech Summit covenes more than 600 tech leaders, investors, regulators, creative media and leading tech ventures from across Africa.

Surprisingly, no Nigerian startup participated in the inaugural edition of the Startup Summit last year. The 10 startups selected were 7keema (Egypt), Appy Saude (Angola), Complete Farmer (Ghana),  DéMars (Mauritius), Exuus (Rwanda), Jetstream Africa (Ghana), Leaf (Rwanda), Moja Ride (Ivory Coast), OZE (Ghana), and RideSafe (Kenya).

There is no reason why there are more startups from Nigeria this year. It is the best 11 applicants. Last year, it was also the best applicants. We try to give a fair spread of sectors

Tom Jackson, co-founder of Disrupt Africa

The startups selected to 'Pitch Live' at the 2020 Africa Startup Summit are from six African countries (Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda), operating in sectors such as: edtech, fintech, agritech, proptech, commerce and waste management.

Meet the 11 startups selected to Pitch Live at the 2020 Africa Startup Summit in Kigali

1. BAG Innovation is an edtech startup based in Rwanda. It upskills university students and graduates to match the demand of employers. BAG Innovation says, the main issue it's tackling is the lack of effective internships that prepare students for future marketplace. Work readiness and soft skills are simple needs that the market requires, but the university is not producing.

Launched in 2017 by Gabriel Ekman and Yussouf Ntwali, BAG Innovation raised $150,000 in a seed round last year.

2. HouseAfrica is a Nigerian proptech startup on a mission to make real estate investment accessible to everyone. HouseAfrica says it uses blockchain technology to split property into small digital units, which are accessible through shares that starts from as low s N10,000. It was co-founded by Ndifreke Ikokpu in 2017.

3. Limestart is a Founder Institute portfolio company. It was founded by Keturah Ovio last year. Limestart helps small and medium enterprises to automatically digitise their transaction records. Its "ultimate goal is to enrich people and businesses with powerful tools that will enable them to create and send invoices, fulfil orders and profile their customers."

Keturah was also one of the five winners of the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub pitch competition for female entrepreneurs.

4. M-Lugha Innovation is a Kenyan edtech startup. Through its multilingual app, M-Lugha Innovation allows young Kenyans to learn using their local language and mother tongue. The app was developed by Abdinoor Alimahdi.

5. M-Omulimisa is an agritech startup, and the Food and Agriculture Organisation calls it a mobile extension officer. M-Omulimisa provides smallholder farmers in Uganda with real-time farming information and solutions written in local languages. More than 15,000 farmers are registered on its platform.

6. MarketForce is a portfolio company of Mesozi—an integrated business and technology solutions provider based in Kenya. MarketForce bridges the gap in retail distribution by providing an end-to-end platform that enable suppliers to deliver essential goods and services to retailers and consumers.

Mesozi was founded in 2013 by Tesh Mbaabu and Mesongo Sibuti. The duo developed MarketForce four years later.

7. OkwuEco is a marketplace for waste. Saviour Obinnah Anyanwu, CEO and Founder of Okwueco, said the goal of the platform is to create a sustainable income opportunities by creating value from solid waste management, while preserving the environment.

8. Riby Finance Limited is a fintech startup. Founded by Abolore Salami in 2016, Riby provides a digital platform for cooperatives and trade groups access financial services, including savings and loans. Riby currently has over 30,000 cooperatives and one million users on its platform. Last year, it launched the 'Riby 1.5 Million Campaign' aimed to financially include 1.5 million unbanked Nigerians.

Both Microtraction and Passion Incubator have invested in Riby Finance.

9. TalentsArena provides an online recruitment platform that match technical talents with tech companies in Egypt. TalentsArena was founded by Aya ElGebeely in 2017.

10. ThankUCash is a product of Connected Analytics Limited. ThankUCach is a multi-merchant reward platform that allows businesses to engage and reward loyal customers. It was co-founded by Simeon Ononobi (CEO), Madonna Ononobi (COO), Suraj Supekar (CTO) and Harshal Gandole (VP Tech) in 2018.

Both Microtration and Ventures Platform have invested in ThankUCash.

11. The Awareness Company is a data-driven storytelling company based in South Africa. It was co-founded by Priaash Ramadeen , Estelle Lubbe and Alex Terlumen in 2018.

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