Five Nigerian tech startups were selected for the 2021 Y Combinator Summer batch, which is the most of African countries represented in the batch.
Y Combinator, arguably the most popular accelerator in the world, organises a three-month-long accelerator programme twice every year for early-stage ventures around the globe. It also hosts a demo day, along with several investors from across the world, to invest in these ventures. Besides the financial aid and fine-tuning the startup’s pitch deck, it also supports and mentors them to deal with investors and acquirers.
Y Combinator has invested in many Nigerian companies including Flutterwave, Paystack, Kobo360, Kudi Bank, Cowrywise, CredPal, Tizeti, 54Gene, Releaf, among others.
For the Summer batch, Africa has 15 startups for the first time compared with 10 selected in the winter batch which took place from January to March 2021.
Other countries in Africa with representation at the Summer batch include Egypt (4), Morocco (2), Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, South Africa each have one.
Here are the five startups from Nigeria:
Founded by Ridwan Olalere in 2020, Lemonade is a cross-border payment platform tailor-made for Africans, not just in Africa but everywhere – home or abroad.
Users in Nigeria on the Lemonade app can transfer to mobile money accounts in Ghana and MPesa accounts in Kenya and the transactions will be completed in minutes.
To fund a Lemonade wallet, the app generates a virtual bank account to which the user transfers money from their bank account or fintech app. When a user wants to transfer money from their wallet to a foreign account, Lemonade does the currency conversion. The user however will need to input the destination bank account and a sort code. The receiver does not need a Lemonade app as the money goes directly into their accounts.
Payhippo is an artificial intelligence-driven lending platform that offers loans to underserved small businesses in Africa. The businesses the company target are those often overlooked by traditional lenders because they do not have credit scores and can’t meet their collateral requirements.
The company was founded in 2019 by Zach Bijesse, Uche Nnadi, and Chioma Okotcha. It has since disbursed over 2,600 loans to businesses with a 97 percent repayment rate. In that time, Payhippo has also grown revenue an average of 25 percent month-on-month.
In July, Payhippo announced it has closed a $1 million in a pre-seed round from investors including Ventures Platform, Future Africa, Launch Africa, and Sherpa Ventures with participation from Hustle Fund and Mercy Corps Ventures.
Infiuss Health provides a decentralized platform for remote research and clinical trials in Africa.
Founded by Melissa Bime and Mbah Charles in 2020, the company enables blood banks to manage their blood supply through the digital recruitment and follow-up of donors as well as blood/blood component inventory management.
It conducts a tele-recruitment process which enables it to have direct contact with blood donors all year round and it also leverages this to get consenting donors to donate samples for biobanking and research.
Founded in 2021, Mecho Autotech is the youngest of the Nigerian companies.
The two founders, Ayoola Akinkunmi and Olusegun Owoade started the company as an on-demand auto maintenance and repairs platform. Mecho Autotech has created a network of vetted mechanics, and via an app, car owners can book and pay for their services.
Mecho helps companies maintain their fleet of vehicles as well as manage claims and repair processes for insurers.
Suplias provides a B2B marketplace where mom-and-pop stores in Africa buy inventory directly from manufacturers using a mobile app.
Founded by Stephen Igwue, Michael Adesanya, and Sefa Ikyaator in 2019, Suplias guarantees the best prices, a large variety of products, and next-day delivery.