Renowned startup incubator Techstars has announced the first 10 businesses – all in fintech – for the newly opened its Barclays Accelerator partnership in Cape Town.
The companies are: Inuka Pap (from Kenya), BimaAfya (Tanzania), Social Lender (Nigeria), Beyonic (US, focused on Uganda and Kenya as its initial markets), tech4farmers (Uganda), Asoriba (Ghana), Reable (Lebanon), BenBen (US, focused on Ghana and a co-founder originally from Ghana), WizzPass (South Africa) and Simba Pay (UK/Kenya with Kenyan founders and focused on Kenya and Uganda).
Over 450 applications were received from 45 countries for spots in the 13-week programme, which is being run in Africa for the first time. The 10 companies come from nine countries, including South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Lebanon, UK and US. This makes it the most broadly representative Techstars programme ever run, says Techstars Cape Town MD Yossi Hasson.
“To be selected out of the 450 applications from across the globe is no small feat. Each of the 10 companies represented something unique that we believe has the potential to become a significant and relevant player on a global scale,” he says.
“Typically Techstars companies go on to raise between $1-million to $3-million in venture funding on completion of the program from primarily UK and US-based investors. Having a Cape Town office extends the reach of these companies so that they can benefit from the Techstars network for both access to funding, markets and talent,” he told me.
“The programme itself focuses on the African continent rather than just South Africa, but ultimately all companies selected will have to relocate to Cape Town for the 13 weeks, extending the reach and scope of Cape Town as a global player in the startup ecosystem.”
Techstars is the “best global ecosystem for entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market,” he adds. “Techstars is significant as it has been working with early-stage technology businesses since 2006 and has invested in over 828 companies who have gone on to raise over $2.2-billion dollars in funding. 90% of companies that have been through a Techstars Accelerator are still alive today or have been acquired (a significant difference to the 10% success rate most startups achieve).”
The Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars, partnership “gives startups access to a global leader in banking accelerating their access to the Bank as either a supplier, client, distribution channel and partner”.