Safaricom, M-PESA Africa & Sumitomo Corporation Selects Selects 9 Early-Stage Startups for Spark Accelerator Program

What’s this about?

  • Safaricom, in partnership with M-PESA Africa and Sumitomo Corporation, shortlisted nine startups for the Spark Accelerator Program, which offers training, mentorship, and go-to-market support to help them grow and scale their businesses.
  • The selected startups span various categories including Embedded Finance, SME Productivity Tools, Content, HealthTech, and Future Fintech, each focusing on innovative solutions to drive societal and economic change.
  • The Spark Accelerator Program aims to leverage technology to support visionary founders, with endorsements from leaders at Safaricom and Sumitomo Corporation highlighting the initiative’s potential to impact the Kenyan and African economies.

Zoom in…

Safaricom in partnership with M-PESA Africa and Sumitomo Corporation has shortlisted nine startups to benefit from the Spark Accelerator Program, a platform for bold and visionary founders to grow and scale their businesses.

By providing a blend of training, mentorship, and go-to-market support, the Spark Accelerator is taking an ecosystem-based approach to provide the startups with access to markets, access to technology, product development support and access to capital.


Last year, Safaricom entered into a strategic partnership with M-PESA Africa and Sumitomo Corporation, a leading Fortune 500 global trading and business investment company, to launch the Spark Accelerator following approval by the Safaricom board and shareholders to restructure the Spark Fund.

The first cohort of the Spark Accelerator will include two startups under Embedded Finance category namely;

Chumz, a startup that is leveraging mobile money, gamification, and behavioural psychology to build a community of savers.

Nobuk which is streamlining payment collection and reconciliation for African groups and collectives, simplifying financial reporting.

Four startups were shortlisted under the SME Productivity Tools category. They are;

Chpter, a startup that empowers businesses to sell more on social platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram by automating conversations, marketing and payments all in one place, through an AI-powered platform. 

Faidi HR, a one-in-all Cloud Payroll and HR Platform for Businesses.

Churpy, a company that seeks to automate repetitive and manual tasks in the office of the “CFO”.

Twiva, a social-commerce platform that helps brands to effectively gain access to markets by leveraging social media influencers to market their goods and services.

HealthX Africa, a data-driven primary health care provider offering hybrid digital and physical touchpoints, with the goal of providing a doctor for every Kenyan.

BlackRhino VR, a company that enables creators and brands alike, to tell immersive and interactive stories that are appealing to contemporary audiences, was shortlisted under the content category.

VunaPay, a platform for Agricultural Cooperatives that facilitates instant payment to smallholder farmers for produce delivered to the cooperatives was shortlisted under the Future Fintech category.

What they are saying…

Leveraging technology to drive meaningful innovation is a strong premise under which the Spark Accelerator program was founded. By supporting and investing in these tech-enabled startups, we aim to drive significant societal change and economic growth. We are excited to work with visionary founders who represent the promise of tomorrow and to see the impact they will create in their respective sectors,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom.

By leveraging our extensive global business know-how with excellent operations and customer base of Safaricom and M-PESA Africa, we are excited to expand digital financial services and contribute to the development of the Kenyan and African economies, human resource development and a more prosperous life through supporting and collaborating with advanced startups,” said Katsuya Kashiki, General Manager of Smart Communication Platform SBU, Sumitomo Corporation.


TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DIMP, VISIT Program management software for upskilling (

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button