Seven African startups graduated from the just concluded Techstars Toronto accelerator spring cohort programme. In addition to 4 other startups across Canada, Pakistan, and India the programme provided hands-on mentorship, funding, and access to Techstars’ founders and talent network.
A total of $7,460,000 was raised in the 3 months virtual accelerator programme. African startups raised $3,765,000 with Mycoverai securing the largest African funding ($650,000) for the day.
The African startups who participated in Techstars Toronto’s spring 2022 class are: Emergency Response Africa, Gigmile, Glade, Mycoverai, Blackcopper, Bongalow, and truQ.
Emergency Response Africa (ERA)
ERA is a healthcare technology company combining expertise, technology, and transportation to create a scalable emergency medical services system. The startup makes fast, reliable emergency medical help available across Africa powered by technology.
ERA began operations in 2019 when Maame Pooku (CTO) lost a family member in Ghana and Folake Owodunmi (CEO) almost lost a child both due to slow medical emergency response. ERA raised $630,000 in Techstars Toronto demo day 2022.
Gigmile provides service and financial infrastructure for mobility-based gig work in Africa. The startup services gig workers with various financing options ranging from motorcycle financing to smartphone financing and fuel advance.
It was founded in 2022 by Nigerians Kayode Adeyinka (CEO) and Samuel Esiri (COO), both ex-Jumia country heads. Gigmile which currently operates from Lagos, Nigeria and Accra, Ghana raised $450,000 at Techstars Toronto 2022 accelerator.
Glade is a fintech startup providing banking services for SMEs and startups to have a global reach. Some of these banking services are creating multi-currency bank accounts and enabling cross-border payments and other business tools.
Glade was founded in 2020 by Liyi Victor (CEO) and Temitope Hundeyin (COO) to solve African business challenges like high costs of exchange rates, a decline in access to cross-border payments and a lack of transparency. The startup raised $435,000 at Techstars Toronto demo day.
Mycoverai's open insurance API enables innovators and businesses to easily embed and distribute genuine insurance to anyone in Africa. The startup leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to scale insurance penetration across the continent.
It was founded in 2021 by Adebowale Banjo (CEO), Fred Ebho (CTO), and Alexander Igwe Ifendu (CPO). Mycoverai operates from Nigeria but plans to expand to 5 other African countries including Kenya and Rwanda in subsequent years. The startup raised $650k at the accelerator program.
In a statement made available to Benjamindada.com, CEO Adebowale Banjo said about the programme, "Techstars offers an amazing platform for startups to grow and scale, the network of distinguished and accomplished mentors that one has access to, provides diverse and deep insights on strategic and tactical decisions that drive business growth.
The community is vibrant and fosters collaboration between businesses. Going forward, we will continue to leverage the opportunity to learn from these mentors while collaborating with other founders as we continue to build a safety net for Africans"
Blackcopper empowers individuals, and small and growing businesses with easy access to financial services. The startup started in 2020 when Olumuyiwa Faulkner and Azeez Oluwafemi identified that financing GAP for nano-businesses was due to the inability of financial institutions to profile nano-business owners for loans.
By building an algorithm that uses alternate data through machine learning models Blackcopper creates profiles for nano-businesses that will enable them to get access to working capital for their business. The startup raised $630,000 at Techstars Toronto. Currently operating in Nigeria, Blackcopper wants to expand to Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania in the coming months.
Bongalow uses a SaaS platform to make mortgages and consumer financing radically accessible. Traditional banks, neobanks, and real estate agents and brokers can embed the digitised mortgage infrastructure into their products to offer mortgage solutions to customers.
truQ automates and optimises short-haul logistics across Africa. By connecting B2B e-commerce businesses, merchants, and individuals in real-time to the closest vehicles, truQ enables trusted, trackable, and affordable shipments.
The startup was founded in July 2019 by Williams Fatayo (CEO) and Foluso Ojo (COO). They began when Foluso bought a wardrobe in a part of Lagos and struggled for 3 days to find a vehicle to help her move the item to another part of Lagos where she lives.
The current app was launched in June 2021 on web and mobile after months of intensive market research and customer survey. The startup raised $535,000 in the accelerator program.
Other African startups who have participated in Techstars Toronto include Korapay, Ourpass, Rentsmallsmall, Healthtracka, Duhqa, Payday, TalentQL, Lenco.