The S21 cohort of the Y Combinator accelerator now includes a total of 12 African participants after three more were confirmed ahead of demo days on August 31 and September 1.
Nine African tech startups were among the 117 selected for the S21 edition of the Silicon Valley-based Y Combinator accelerator late last month, each earning US$125,000 in seed funding and additional investment opportunities at a demo day.
The total number of participating startups has now risen to 285, with three more coming from Africa. Two of the additional ventures are from Nigeria, namely Payhippo, which provides loans to small businesses in Africa in under three hours; and Infiuss Health, which connects US and EU-based pharma, life science companies and researchers to participants for clinical trials and research in Africa.
Nigeria already had three representatives, in the form of 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.
Ghana’s Yemaachi Biotechnology, a biotech company that is working to lower the economic burden of cancer by developing novel, non-invasive and affordable molecular diagnostics, was the third new African addition to the cohort.
The other African participants in the renowned programme include three from Egypt (online insurance brokerage Amenli, car parts marketplace Odiggo and last mile delivery company ShipBlu), two from Morocco (e-commerce and fintech app Chari and collaborative SaaS value chain platform Freterium), and South Africa’s Floatpays, an on-demand wage access platform.
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, perhaps the most well-known accelerator in the world, is increasingly choosing African tech startups to participate in its program. Continental royalty such as Flutterwave, Paystack, and Kobo360 are among its alumni (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.