Seedstars, the Swiss-based private company with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets, annually holds the Seedstars World Competition to continuously scout for the most promising startups around the Asia, Africa, CEE, MENA, and LATAM regions.
This year, 94 ecosystems were included in the online open call for applications. From there, 1,200 startups participated in the Online Seedstars Academy, a training program for entrepreneurs to accelerate their growth and receive mentorship from industry experts around the world.
The next phase of the competition takes the local winners to the regional stage. From the regionals, 10 startups will receive USD 50K in growth program investment as well as the chance to compete at the Grand Finale for a shot at the Global Winner prize of USD 500K in equity investment.
Here are the Africa local winners and the MENA region winners.
Africa Local Winners for Seedstars World 2020
For the Africa region, there were a lot of promising startups focused on providing HealthTech solutions. Namely, HMO-Africa (Burundi) specializes in making healthcare accessible for the poor; Rohobot Home Based Health Care Service P.L.C (Ethiopia) provides home healthcare services; and Innovarx Global Health (Gambia) caters to healthcare delivery needs. Other HealthTech startups are Denko Kunafoni (Mali), which focuses on delivering health information to women and BioMec (Mozambique), a bionic prosthetics company.
With a focus on helping connect companies to job seekers, these 4 HR tech startups are joining the regionals: Dial-a-skill (Botswana), CodeLn (Ghana), Keys Job (Senegal), and Zindi (South Africa). Crowdfunding and payments solutions are also represented by Astech-Congo – Umoja Funding (DRC), BrillantTS Africa [C32-PEX] (Mauritius), Ladda (Nigeria), and Sparco Inc. (Zambia)
More than ever, AgriTech solutions are necessary across the continent. Startups AIT Group (Poultry Farmers Management Systems) (Cameroon), Neytech Solutions (Malawi), and Flamingoo Foods Company Ltd (Tanzania) all tackle needs in the market. EdTech startups Zydii (Kenya), OPower Sierra Leone (Sierra Leone), and Phenemenon tech (Zimbabwe) are also selected for the next phase. An e-commerce startup from Angola called SOCIA also joins the next stage.
A few transportation-related tech are included in the batch: CAPTURE Solutions COTE d’IVOIRE (Ivory Coast) and Ridelink Limited (Uganda). Tackling solutions in a few other industries are integrated platform solutions, RESERMAR CV Reservas Online (Cabo Verde); IoT startup Tasked Technology Solution CC (Namibia); and service automation provider Octan group (Rwanda).
MENA Local Winners for Seedstars World 2020
More promising startups are moving on to the MENA regionals. Fintech platforms Policyhouse (UAE) and FinFirst Capital (Kuwait) are helping make insurance and banking needs accessible, respectively. HealthTech startups StafMedic (Algeria), Droobi Health Technology (Qatar), Tanfees (Oman), Speetar (Libya) focused on telemedicine solutions to help promote accessibility for the local health and medical needs are among the local winners.
With a mission to improve water sanitation, Akyas (Jordan) and Mruna (Lebanon) were picked to advance to the regionals. EdTech platforms AlRawi Media (Bahrain), Oriigami (Morocco), Alphazed (Syria), and Twin Science & Robotics (Turkey) that focus on supporting students by providing gamified learning platforms and connecting them to tutors claimed their spots at the next stage and other solutions. Startups offering on-demand consumer services in their respective verticals are also part of the regionals: Fix-it (Iraq) specialized in maintenance; Amal (Palestine) for construction; and Paklean (Iran) for laundry.
There is also the supply chain logistics startup Esky Pro (Tunisia) and e-commerce platform IFF (Saudi Arabia) that are advancing to the next phase, along with Al-Mawwan (Egypt), another e-commerce platform specializing in construction materials.