Recently launched in Kenya, Pangea, a Norwegian accelerator platform that connects African start-ups with international funding and expertise, has shortlisted 11 start-ups that will be considered for an investment of up to USD 50,000 per an upcoming company. Nine of the 11 institutions are Kenyan. The rest are from Nigeria and Egypt.
This development was preceded by an application process that encompassed continent-wide assessment of 407 requests to pitch for international funding. Most of the application were agri-based at 27 percent, followed by Fintech start-ups at 15 percent. Additional applications covered key areas such as education, clean tech and renewable energy. What’s more, the lion’s share of the applications originated from Kenya (220) and Nigeria (107).
The assessment panel that includes experts from MasterCard Foundation, Innovation Norway and Longitude Finance noted the tedious process of examining hundreds of applications to choose a handful of start-ups that best fit the criterion for funding.
“The initial expectation was that we would settle on 10 companies but we ended up with a list of 11. This is evidence that a good number of the start-ups made a strong business case. We were spoilt for choice” said Jane Save Ndungo, a senior market advisor at Innovation Norway.
“I have no doubt that investors will find good opportunities for investment based on the quality of businesses represented on the Pangea program,” added Pangea CEO Jonas Tesfu.
The 11 start-ups on the list are as follows:
Tozzaplus (Kenya) that offers automation tools for cloud business management for small business, including accounting, payroll and so forth.
Acacia Innovation (Kenya) that supplies biomass briquettes to schools and small businesses.
Onesha (Kenya), an online marketplace for creatives.
Yusudi (Kenya) that offers life skills, educational programs to enable people to advance their careers.
Biasharabot (Kenya), a marketing tool that handles customer queries, performs shopping activities and allows checkout and payments.
Skolera (Egypt), a platform that offers a suite of tools for the 5 actors involved in the educational process to promote full digitization and distribution of resources, assessment, collaboration and communication, monitoring and supervision and finally reporting.
Lakeview Fisheries (Kenya) that creates a network of micro-franchise fish vendors in the start-up’s 500 locations in Nairobi.
Sure Corporation (Kenya) that manages Safiri Express PSV services in Nairobi.
HelpMum (Nigeria), a health technology that uses the power of mobile technology and low-cost innovation to tackle maternal and infant death in Africa.
SaveKubwa (Kenya), a platform that allows vehicle owners access the best motor insurance services.
Usalama (Kenya), a platform that connects users and emergency service providers in a timely and efficient manner. It also has an integrated backend portal.