The selected startups have services currently available in one or more African markets and show potential to scale across the region.
The XL Africa residency is a flagship project of the business accelerator, and it was launched in April 2017 by the World Bank Group’s InfoDev program.
The residency, which holds in Cape Town, South Africa, will hold from 6th to 17th of November. The Entrepreneurs will learn from a pool of mentors and colleagues. This will not only increase regional visibility for them, but also help with access to potential corporate partners and investors.
These 20 companies were selected from a pool of over 900 applicants, specializing in a diverse range of sectors, from fintech, to transport and logistics, education, HR, and healthcare.
All the selected companies will provide a digital product or service currently available in one or more African markets and show potential to scale across the region.
Klaus Tilmes, Director of the Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice at the World Bank Group, said this:
“We are pleased by the interest infoDev and XL Africa generated across the continent in just a few months. XL Africa attracted firms with high-growth potential; many have female co-founders, have already raised early stage investment, and have demonstrated significant market traction. The number and quality of applications received are a clear testament to the competitiveness of African start-ups and the key role they play in Africa’s growing digital economy.”
These are the selected Nigerian startups:
1. Electronic Settlement Limited (Fintech).
These guys, as we’ve learned, are a team of experts who focus on bespoke solutions for everyday financial problems. Their focus is payment solutions, financial access, and software development. They already work with 13 banks.
2. MAX (Transport).
These motorcycle-driven company is promising to deliver people and packages anywhere within Lagos in 3 hours.
3. ogaVenue (Venue Platform).
It’s pretty clear what they’re up to. They want you to find event venues easily, and everyone who plans to use their services has about 6,000 venues to choose from.
4. Prepclass (Education).
They are helping Nigerians in Lagos and Abuja find home tutors perfectly tailored for their children’s needs.
5. Printivo (Printing).
It’s the biggest online printshop in Nigeria, Printing and delivering items like business cards, mugs, and even T-shirts, to individuals and businesses.
6. Rensource (Energy).
We know electricity in Nigeria sucks, so these guys just want to power your life with the solar energy.
7. Tizeti Network Ltd. (Connectivity).
Still on Solar Energy, these guys are looking to use the power of the sun to provide unlimted internet connection, everywhere. This is being done by way of Solar powered base stations.
8. Asoko Insights (Data).
Asoko’s focus is providing high quality corporate data to companies. They also have their tentacles in many countries, like Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, United Kingdom, and Nigeria.
9. TalentBase (HR).
They want to be the go-to company for your payroll and all HR needs. From leave management, to day-day expenses, and even tax automation, they have it all covered.
The other participants for other African countries include:
In the Fintech Space; there’s Edgepoint Digital (Jamii) of Tanzania (Insurance), and Pesabazaar.com of Kenya.
On the Deliveries end; there’s Sendy Ltd. and Sokowatch, both from Kenya.
Timbuktu, a South African Travel company also made the list. So did Snapplify, a Publishing company not only in South Africa, but also in Kenya. The only other South African company on the list is Aerobotics, a Data company.
Two SME services also made the list, with Ongair from Kenya, and Rasello Company Ltd. from Tanzania.
Still on Kenya, HR startup Lynk Jobs Ltd, made the cut.
The Francophone Coin Afrique is a Marketplace, based in Senegal and Benin.
The residency will be concluded with the XL Africa Venture Showcase, a regional event held in association with the Africa Angel Investor Summit. Here, entrepreneurs will make their pitch before a select audience of corporations and investors. With support from African investment groups, XL Africa will help the start-ups attract early stage capital between US$250,000 and US$1.5 million.
The selection was made by a panel of industry experts from the International Finance Corporation (IFC); implementing partners IMC Worldwide, Koltai & Co, and Venture Capital for Africa (VC4A); as well as investors from prominent African funds, including Knife Capital, 4Di Capital LLP, Singularity Investments, TLcom Capital LLP, Goodwell Investments, Nest Africa, and Africa Tech Ventures.
Danai Musandu, Investment associate at Goodwell Investments, had this to say:
“We encountered very strong companies, particularly in the transportation, HR, and data analytics sectors,” “We also observed signals of a nascent pipeline of digital companies beyond the traditional hot spots of Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. These talented entrepreneurs are among those who are going to drive innovation on the continent and offer great opportunities for investors looking at African markets.”
XL Africa is funded by the governments of Finland, Norway, and Sweden, and administered by the World Bank Group with implementation support from IMC Worldwide, VC4A, and Koltai & Co.