Announcing the 4th Accelerator Class
We are excited to announce our 4th Accelerator class selected from over 150 applications across Africa- each startup will get between $25-30,000 investment, graduation and demo day set for end of July 2015. This class hails from Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Malawi and is an interesting mix of financial services/fintech, marketing and ecommerce, including our first bitcoin related investment, strong B2B startups and half the class has at least one woman co-founder.
Savannah Fund, now operating in its 3rd year, has invested in 20 startups in 6 African countries- 14 of those under the accelerator, maintaining a strong early stage focus.
BitFinance has figured out how to make it easy for anyone to buy and/or sell Bitcoin in Africa. Their Flagship product, BitcoinFundi, is an online Bitcoin Exchange that allows people to buy and/or sell Bitcoin with mobile money and/or bank transfers. BitcoinFundi is optimised for remittances which is the biggest case for Bitcoin use in Africa.
Bitfinance is founded by Verengai Mabika, a serial entrepreneur who grew his last social innovation firm from zero to seven figure revenues. He got excited by Bitcoin because of it’s potential to disrupt the remittances industry. Now he is in charge of Business Development.
Tawanda Kembo has been writing code for over 13 years and has been a Bitcoin Evangelist and Bitcoin Core Developer 2 years before deciding to start BitFinance.
Djuaji facilitates scalable survey-based research to help businesses obtain data at low cost by paying respondents with mobile money. There is a huge lack of reliable data in Africa and no easy means to obtain it. SMEs competing against global giants don’t have multimillion dollar research budgets and are unable to take advantage of opportunities because they have to play guessing games.Businesses have a pressing need for an easy way to obtain useful, relevant market data and this is why we are building Djuaji.
Djuaji is the brainchild of Hungai Amuhinda, a developer and tech entrepreneur with wide experience in data analysis technologies and emerging mobile web technologies, having consulted for multiple clients across Africa before founding Djuaji. Wiza Jalakasi is the co-founder of Djuaji and a serial entrepreneur who started his business aged 16, he has extensive practical experience developing high-tech solutions that are sensitive to the needs of African businesses.
For the retail segment, transacting foreign exchange is difficult. Forex.co.ke simplifies this process and makes it affordable for all. The team have currently contracted 3 Kenyan banks and are actively engaged with enlisting a further 11. Forex aims is contract 25 banks by the end of August 2015, charging a fee of 0.1% per currency unit traded. The demand for foreign exchange in Kenya and immediate addressable market is more than $2 Billon a month.
Amoroso Gombe – Founder, is an Electronic Engineer with over ten years’ experience in the Kenyan financial information technology sector. He has worked with companies that have pioneered innovations like cardless ATM withdrawals and mobile money transactions on ATM’s in Kenya. He is passionate about technology and efficient financial markets.
Ehtesham Mohammad – Co-founder, is a Computer Scientist, passionate about web and mobile applications. He has worked on everything from environmental data logging systems for the United Nations Environment program to procurement software for the healthcare industry.
Verah Marosi – Co-founder, is also a Computer Scientist, she is passionate about data-driven systems. She has over five years’ experience in the Kenyan transaction switching industry developed web based data systems for the insurance industry locally and has also worked for the United Nations.
William Todd – Co-founder, joined Forex in the early days and has over two decades of experience in advanced financial market technology. He is a Computer Scientist from Cambridge University and was involved with the establishment of the electronic Kansai Grain Exchange in Japan.
Kenneth Kimani – Co-founder, is a Marketing Major and has extensive experience in the consumer experience world, ranging from the domestic financial services sector to high-end boutique hotel hospitality. He is passionate about superlative customer experiences whatever sector it may be in.
Podozi.com is a beauty technology and content-driven ecommerce startup. Our goal is to be the biggest beauty ecommerce platform out of Africa boasting an unlimited products’ inventory that cut across skincare, makeup, fragrance, bath and body, baby products and men’s products. Since launching in January 2015, Podozi.com has listed inventory from over 45 leading international beauty brands such as Maybelline, IMAN, Black Opal, Tara, Neutrogena, Oriflame, Calvin Klein and a host of others.
Founded by Wale Babatunde and Teniola Adejuwon, the duo believe that Podozi.com is set to change the way Africans shop for beauty and personal care. “Our customers discover authentic beauty brands from around the world, enjoy a personalized shopping experience, shop at amazing discounts, access expert education, all from the comfort of their devices.”
The startup plans to launch its own virtual makeover and shopping app in the coming months. This app will enable its customers to “test” a product on before making a purchase; a revolutionary first in Africa’s beauty ecommerce market.