Twenty tech startups have been selected to participate in the L’Afrique Excelle residency in Mali, a full-week bootcamp that kicks off the Francophone edition of the World Bank Group’s XL Africa accelerator.
In November, the World Bank Group had launched L’Afrique Excelle, the Francophone edition of the XL Africa accelerator it implemented in 2017, in partnership with the Tubaniso Agribusiness and Innovation Centre and managed by VC4A, Suguba and SahelInnov.
High-growth tech startups operating in Francophone Africa and looking to raise between US$250,000 and US$5 million were invited to apply, and 20 companies have now been selected to receive access to funding, networks, mentoring and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs, as well as all-expenses-paid residencies in Mali and France.
The 20 selected to take part in the Mali residency include nine from Senegal, namely digital financial services startup MaTontine, deliveries platform PAPS, e-commerce and international transport company Ouicarry, mobility and ticketing startup SudPay, solar home systems developer OniriQ, advertising agency Firefly Media, digital lending platform AmA, multichannel mobile platform LAfricaMobile, and software publishing company Eyone.
Cameroon is represented by three in the form of mobile video startup StarNews Mobile, mobile-based maternal health education solution GiftedMom, and digital payments startup Diool, as is Ivory Coast – travel startup TripAfrique, wireless communication platform LiFi, and solar-powered bin developer LONO.
The rest of the cohort is completed by Niger-based water prepayment service CityTaps, Madagascar-based data annotation service SmartOne, Tanzanian solar startup Solaris Offgrid, Kenyan FMCG startup Optimetriks, and Mauritius-based virtual market Exportunity Global Trade Hub.
From March 24-30 in Mali, the entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to network and learn from leading industry experts, increase their regional visibility and network with potential corporate partners and investors. The cohort will benefit from training, individual consultations and peer-to-peer learning.
The residency will conclude with a venture showcase at the Francophone Africa Investor Summit, after which 10 companies will advance to the France Residency in May, where they will receive intensive training and mentoring at the camp with Sophia Business Angels, coaching by experts at Deloitte and Google, and get exposure to investors at the AfroBytes and VivaTech conferences.
“Similar to the XL Africa programme, L’Afrique Excelle has attracted a number of growth-oriented digital startups from Francophone Africa. Many of them have already raised seed funding, totaling over US$11 million, and are active in several African markets. This is a strong signal regarding the competitiveness of Francophone African startups and their contribution to Africa’s digital economies,” said Sebastian Molineus, director of the Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation Global Practice at the World Bank Group.