Earlier this year, World Bank announced the launch of XL Africa, an acceleration programme aimed at supporting 20 top digital startups from Sub-Saharan Africa, which will offer startups access to a tailormade curriculum and the chance to receive mentoring from global and local experts. It is supported by a number of African investment groups.
After more than 900 applications were received, the programme organisers have now selected the 20 African tech startups that will take part in the programme. Over the next four months, they will go through virtual mentorship before attending a two-week residency in Cape Town. The participants will be securing up to US$1.5 million in early stage capital.
At the residency, start-ups will have the opportunity to interact with and learn from their mentors, peers and partners, before concluding by pitching at the XL Africa Venture Showcase. This will take place at the African Angel Investor Summit, with entrepreneurs presenting their business models to an audience of corporations and investors with the aim of raising funding.
Nigerian startups are the best represented with nine selected for the programme: data company Asoko Insight, fintech startup Electronic Settlement Limited, e-delivery platform Metro Africa Express (MAX), event booking space ogaVenue, e-learning startup PrepClass, digital printing platform Printivo, power-as-a-service startup Rensource, HR management startup Talentbase, and Wi-Fi provider Tizeti.
Kenya is represented by five startups, namely recruitment startup Lynk, business chat app Ongair, financial product price comparison platform PesaBazaar, e-courier app Sendy, and Sokowatch, a last-mile ordering and distribution platform for small retailers.
Three startups from South Africa have been selected – data analysis company Aerobotics, e-book distributor Snapplify, and travel startup Timbuktu – and two from Tanzania in the form of micro-health insurance startup Jamii and cloud platform Rasello. Senegalese mobile marketplace CoinAfrique also makes the top 20.
“These startups span the continent from Senegal in the west, to Kenya in the east, and south to South Africa, specialising in digital products and solutions encompassing the fields of fin-tech, transportation, healthcare, education, human resources, and B2B,” XL Africa said.
“All companies provide a technology-intensive or technology-based product or service currently available in one or more African markets and show great potential to scale across the region and globally.”