Nine African tech startups are among the 117 that have been confirmed to be participating in the Silicon Valley-based Y Combinator accelerator, with each receiving US$125,000 in seed funding as well as additional investment opportunities at a demo day.
The S21 batch of Y Combinator will begin this month, with the renowned programme concluding in September with a demo day.
Nine of the startups so far listed (more will be revealed as the programme progresses) are from Africa, with Nigeria and Egypt leading the way with three each. The Nigerian representatives are Mecho Autotech, which connects car users with mechanics and smart part vendors; Suplias, a B2B marketplace for mom and pop stores; and Lemonade Finance, a multi-currency payments solution.
Morocco has two representatives in the form of Chari, an e-commerce and fintech app for traditional retailers, and Freterium, a collaborative SaaS platform that connects organizations, people and technologies in the logistics value chain, while South Africa’s Floatpays, an on-demand wage access platform, completes the list.
“It’s an honour for us to participate in the S21 batch of Y Combinator. With my co-founder, we will belong to the very closed circle of YC Alumni, allowing us to benefit from a global network of brilliantly successful startups. This will create a lot of value for our startup,” said Ismael Belkhayat, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Chari.
During the Y Combinator Winter ‘21 batch demo day in March, ten African tech startups took to the virtual stage to pitch to an audience of investors, press, alumni, and other interested parties.
Y Combinator, possibly the world’s most famous accelerator, is increasingly selecting African tech startups to participate in its programme. Its alumni features continental royalty such as Flutterwave, Paystack and Kobo360 (not to mention Cowrywise MarketForce, Kudi, WaystoCap, WorkPay, Healthlane, Trella, 54gene, CredPal, NALA and Breadfast).
The accelerator has an equivocal place in the continent’s startup ecosystem, but entrepreneurs praise it for the beneficial influence it has had on their businesses.