The funded startups, from Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, were chosen from 17 teams composed of 58 entrepreneurs. MEST will invest US$100,000 in each of seven companies, who will join MEST Incubators in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya.
The companies who received funding include Kenyan on-demand storage marketplace Sharehouse, Nigerian invoice discounting startup Nvoicia, and Nigeria’s Judy, an AI-driven search engine for Commonwealth Case Law.
Four more startups, all launching in Ghana, received funding, namely cargo booking and monitoring platform Truckr, field management and payment collections platform Jumeni, technical recruitment platform Codeln, and Bace, a client onboarding application for financial institutions that secures KYC data via OCR and facial recognition technology.
“The seven teams we are investing in today represent the strength of the incredible diversity within our cohorts. Not only are they immediately launching all across Africa, but each of these startups are also born with pan-African co-founders, opening up the possibilities of rapid subsequent expansion into other markets across the continent,” said MEST managing director Aaron Fu.
“Investment from MEST will help fuel their growth across some of the most exciting markets in Africa in industries ranging from logistics and identity to law and recruitment.”
Final pitches for the class of 2018 were witnessed by the MEST team and graduating cohort, along with members of the global Meltwater sales team, MEST and Meltwater founder and CEO Jorn Lyseggen, and the weekend’s guest lecturers from Silicon Valley and Norway.
This year’s funded startups will join MEST Africa’s existing portfolio of 36 companies across Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, and the graduates will join nearly 300 alumni across the continent.