25 African fintech startups have been selected for the inaugural Amazon Web Services (AWS) FinTech Africa Accelerator cohort. This cohort was selected from over 500 applications and is part of the EMEA Startup Loft Accelerator (SLA) program run by AWS.
The pre-seed and seed stage fintech startups will start the 10-week program in June. Each startup will get technical review workshop sessions and up to $25K USD in AWS technical credits, world-leading sector advice and one-to-one mentorship from major industry players including the Africa Fintech Summit (AFTS), Lendsqr and Vestbee to help them build their businesses.
Africa’s fintech ecosystem is one of the fastest growing globally reaching $2B USD in 2022, according to data from Briter Bridges. Six out of seven of the continent’s unicorns operate in the financial services industry.
The cohort includes eleven startups from Nigeria – Ashiri NG, bunce, DeemPay, Fluna, Incash, KoinWa, Stacs, Vagrent Africa, WALLX Africa, Zainnest, and Zeeh Africa. Four are from Kenya – Chumz, hela.money, Kiotapay, and Mauzo. Four are from Ghana – Asaana Pay, Edanra, Exxtra, and H28 Technologies. There are two from Uganda – eMaisha Pay and Xazu Technologies – and two from South Africa – Abela iMali and Moya Money. Dreamcash, a startup from Cameroon and MazAid, an Egyptian startup are also part of the cohort.
While all participating startups are fintech companies, the program welcomed a diverse array of value propositions and verticals including finance/lending for MSMEs, cryptocurrency transactions, global remittance products, freelancer payment & invoice management, export/import management, and much more.
“At AWS, we’re thrilled to be a part of Africa’s digital transformation, making core financial services accessible to more individuals and businesses. We believe that anyone regardless of their location, should be able to access innovative technologies and realize their dreams,” said Napa Onwusah, Start-up Segment Lead at AWS. “I am excited that the accelerator will be instrumental in empowering these startups to grow and scale their businesses.”
Co-Founder and Managing Partner of First Circle Capital, Agnes Aistleitner Kisuule stated, “The program is a great opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to hone their ideas, get exposed to the tech industry and drive growth in Africa’s financial services industry.”
“FinTech is imperative for Africa’s economic growth so programs like this provide the expert training and support that early-stage FinTech companies need to scale to the next level and boost the continent’s digital economy,” said Barbara Iyayi, the Founding Managing Partner at Unicorn Growth Capital
Adedeji Olowe, the Founder & CEO of Lendsqr and a Trustee with Open Banking Nigeria stated, “AWS is making a huge impact on the startup ecosystem globally. Its secure and flexible cloud infrastructure allows startups to focus on developing innovative products to attract VC funding – a real need for them. Over 90% of startups we know created their Minimum Viable Product (MVP) on AWS. Products like Compute, and Amazon SageMaker among others help them to build fast-scaling products that VCs like us love to back. We are excited to provide our expertise to young startups as part of the program.”
The program is supported by major players in the African financial technology industry including the Africa Fintech Summit, Unicorn Growth Capital, Lateral Frontiers VC, First Circle, Dawn Capital, White Star Capital, Blackfin Capital Partners, Vestbee, Alma Angels, Flashpoint Venture Capital, Vertis Capital, Next Road Ventures, Afrolynk, Stripe, Zendesk Startups, Techcabal, Paga, Lendsqr, and Conduit.