What you need to know:
- AsaanaPay is a payments and rewards platform for minority-owned businesses enabling offline and online payments.
- Tausi App connects beauticians to clients and provides professional hair and make-up and other services.
Five tech start-ups from Kenya have made it to the top 10 list for the upcoming AfricaIgnite pitch competition.
The event will be held from November 14-16 in Cape Town, South Africa.
According to the organisers of Africa Tech Festival, more than 400 speakers and 15,000 delegates will represent Africa in the global finals of the Startup World Cup that will take place in the United States on December 1.
“The top 10 will battle it out at the AfricaIgnite pitch competition in November in Cape Town, as to who will represent Africa in the global finals of the Startup World Cup, powered by Pegasus, taking place in the USA with the ultimate prize a cool US$1 million (Sh150 million) investment),” the organisers said.
The five start-ups are AsaanaPay, Tausi App, Ukwenza VR, BenaCare and Kyanda Africa.
AsaanaPay is a payments and rewards platform for minority-owned businesses enabling offline and online payments and unrestricted cash back rewards to attract and retain customers.
Tausi App connects beauticians to clients and provides professional hair and make-up and other services. More than 6,000 have registered so far.
Ukwenza VR is a social enterprise which focuses on creating educational Virtual Reality (VR) content to complement classroom learning.
BenaCare is a social enterprise that delivers affordable clinical and supportive care to patients with life-limiting illnesses at the comfort of their own homes.
Kyanda Africa is a seamless payment solutions platform which provides safe and easy access to financial and related services simultaneously.
While making the announcement, Mr James Williams, senior director, Events, Connecting Africa | Informa Tech, congratulated all participants.
“Congratulations to everyone who entered. We called for the continent’s brightest, most inspiring founders to apply to help build the African innovation ecosystem and they certainly delivered.
“I know I speak for my colleagues, the investors and judges who will be closely monitoring the pitch competition, when I say that Africa’s talent, ingenuity, and unmatched potential is abundant and diverse, and this is clearly represented in this broad array of finalists,” Mr Williams said.
“ It is, therefore, going to be no small task to select just one winner who will represent the continent at the Startup World Cup Final, held by Pegasus, in San Francisco on December 1.”
Ms Keshni Morar ,one of AfricaIgnite Pitch Competition judges, warned contenders to come prepared.
“I will be looking for the granular detail in the presentations, with a demonstrable understanding of the market in which the start-up is looking to play or is already active. Depth of the go to market strategy too for those start-ups at pre-seed capital is a vital consideration,” she said.
“Like every other serious investor out there, I look for the coherence between the pitch story and the data points. If it’s not there, there’s no chance of us getting involved.”
The other five start-ups that made it to the top 10 list are Bus54, Delta Scan, Oneway Connect, Hippocampus Education and Gradlinc.
Bus54 — based in Nigeria – is a mobility technology company providing a platform to aggregate intercity bus transportation on the continent , allowing passengers to search, compare, book, and manage their journeys online.
Delta Scan is a specialist engineering inspection and digitisation company based in South Africa. The firm creates powerful analytical 3D models to extract engineering value.
Oneway Connect, a cutting-edge job matching and recruitment software, also made the cut. Hippocampus Education is an adaptive tutoring Facebook Messenger bot that provides differentiated instruction and instant feedback that is customised to meet each individual’s learning needs.
Gradlinc helps prepare graduates for the workplace from helping with CVs to creating personal brands .
“The final will bring a great crowd of founders, tech leaders and investors to witness who will be crowned winner,” the organisers said.