Techstars has selected 12 African startups for the second cohort of its Lagos-based innovation program in collaboration with ARM Labs.
Unlike the first cohort which was focused on fintech and proptech startups, the latest class focus more broadly on entrepreneurs that are changing Africa and the world, by using technology, data and intelligence to serve a population growing in size, youth, income and digital access.
Most of the startups in the cohort are from Nigeria, but they also picked some from Ghana and Kenya. Four of the startups have at least one female co-founder.
The managing director for the Lagos-based accelerator, Oyin Solebo, led the sourcing and selection process. The final decisions were made by a screening committee that included directors at Techstars, and executive leaders at ARM Labs; Jumoke Ogundare, Sadiq Mohammed, Wale Odutola, Uche Azubuike, and Ina Alogwu. Additionally, seasoned investors like Nneka Eze of Vested World, Maya Horgan Famodu of Ingressive Capital, Olumide Soyombo of Voltron Capital, and Dotun Olowoporuku of Ventures Platform were invited to contribute to the selection process.
Upon completion of the 14-week programme, Techstars plans to invest up to $120,000 in each startup. Moreover, the startups will gain access to over $400,000 in equivalent cash benefits, including hosting, accounting, legal support, and other perks, totalling a value exceeding $5 million.
"The current market dynamics mean that founders need a combination of financial support as well as technical assistance and access to networks to build resilient businesses," says Solebo. Therefore, the 12 startups will also benefit from personalised mentorship, assistance in building their companies, lifelong access to the global Techstars network, and targeted opportunities to engage with potential investors. This ensures a continuous availability of follow-up capital as they progress.
Related Article: Africa accounts for 40% of Techstars Toronto's investment portfolio
Meet the second cohort of ARM Labs Lagos Techstars accelerator
The selected companies are, in alphabetical order:
- 24Seven, founded by Olufemi Idowu, is an asset-light marketplace that enables small businesses and convenience stores to order inventory on credit with one-hour doorstep delivery
- Beauty Hut leverages technology to bridge the gap between beauty brands and consumers through efficient product distribution and marketing channels, via their e-commerce web-store and mobile app. It is founded by Subuola Oyeleye
- Eight Medical, by Dr Ibukun Tunde-Oni, is an end-to-end platform that connects users in need to emergency medical resources (such as hospitals, ambulances, personnel, information & credit), reducing waiting times from an average of 3 hours to 10 minutes or less
- GetEquity facilitates access to investment opportunities by SEC-accredited providers, reducing entry barriers through investment aggregation across various asset classes. It is founded by Jude Dike, Temitope Ekundayo and Chigozirim Ugochukwu
- JumpnPass, by Tunde Ademuyiwa and Qudus Quadry, is a mobile self-checkout platform for modern retail in Africa. They enable shoppers to use their smartphones to effortlessly scan product barcodes, pay for items, and skip long queues
- One Plan helps workers in Africa’s informal economy create affordable financial plans, making it easier to start a retirement plan, access low-interest credit, and access health + life insurance coverage. It was founded by Harold Awuah-Darko.
- PBR Life Sciences offers pharmaceutical, consumer healthcare and medical device companies fast and easy access to high-quality market data and insights, helping them make objective decisions on product pricing, volumes and company strategy. The company was founded by Ayodeji Alaran
- PressOne Africa provides African businesses with deeper insights into phone conversations with customers through a communication platform that provides conversation intelligence and call monitoring. It is led by Mayowa Okegbenle, Opeyemi Shokunbi and Unoma Adeyemi
- Rana democratises access to clean and reliable solar systems for SMEs and residential customers through affordable long-term solar subscriptions, replacing the need for expensive, unreliable, and toxic backup generators. The company was founded by Abraham Mohammed and Mubarak Popoola.
- Surge Africa, founded by Kumar Shourav and Ebrahim Essop, allows individuals, micro-entrepreneurs and MSMEs in Africa to make instant cross-border transfers and pay up to 80% less in fees
- Swoove empowers logistics companies in emerging markets to digitise and scale their businesses with dispatch automation, fleet management, tracking and telematics, and a wide delivery network. It is led by Kwaku Tabiri, Kingsley Amponsah, Gloria Pascucci, Robert Quainoo and Kevin Blankson
- Veend, founded by Olufemi Olanipekun and Ebenezer Ajayi, enables individuals and businesses with verifiable income to access funds on-demand, addressing their needs for emergency funds or working capital
"Securing a spot in the ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator program has signified an important milestone in the growth of my company," says Tunde-Oni, founder of Eight Medical. "More than anything else, I believe it has demonstrated an absolute vote of confidence from experts who have accessed our model and track record and also estimated our impending growth potential. The learning experience has so far been invaluable, and I am eagerly looking forward to our next phase of business."
The program will conclude with an invite-only Demo day on February 22nd, 2024 where founders will showcase their progress. Register here to attend.