Nine African startups representing 8 countries have been selected to participate in the second edition of the Norrsken Impact Accelerator, a prominent early-stage accelerator. The accelerator is one of the programmes of the Norrsken Foundation. The foundation was established in 2016 by Niklas Adalberth, co-founder of Swedish fintech unicorn Klarna, to support entrepreneurs globally in solving some of the world’s biggest challenges.

Norrsken Foundation has been courting Africa since it announced in 2019 the launch of its entrepreneurship hub, Norrsken House, in Kigali, Rwanda.  The first outside its headquarters, Sweden, the hub also features an African-focused seed fund which has allowed it to invest in Rwandan companies, most notably Viebeg Technology and PesaChoice. 

Last December, it opened the hub, welcomed 250 entrepreneurs, and hopes to bring in 750  more. In the same year, it selected 11 startups from Africa to join the inaugural edition of the Norrsken Impact Accelerator. 

Of the 20 startups around the world that were chosen for the accelerator, the 9 are African companies are Nigerian digital primary health startup, Clafiya and clean tech startup, SunFi; Mozambican mobility platform Appload; Ugandan lending platform Emata; Tanzanian payment solution Umoja Labs; Rwandan artisan recruitment service Fixa; Ghanaian BNPL platform Motito; South African health network HealthDart; Kenyan savings and investment service Power Financial Wellness. All 20 companies address issues in mental health, poverty, sustainable agriculture, financial inclusion, or green energy.

The budding businesses will undergo an 8-week growth sprint at Norrsken House in Stockholm; receive mentorship from a roster of over 110 entrepreneurs, investors and unicorn founders; and be given $125,000 in upfront pre-seed or seed investment from the Norrsken Foundation. 

“Our accelerator brings together over one hundred extraordinary individuals who channel their knowledge, experience and network to pave the way for early-stage, up-and-coming impact tech startups,” said Funda Sezgi, Norrsken Impact Accelerator managing director and co-founder. “We only want to work with companies that are solving real, urgent and important problems—problems that matter. We believe that all of the companies in our 2022 cohort are doing exactly this, and we’re so excited to be part of their growth journeys from here!”

Since the inception of the accelerator, participating startups have collectively gone on to raise $24 million in pre-seed and seed funds from investors like  Brilliant Minds co-founder Ash Pournori, Kry co-founder Fredrik Jung-Abbou, Pär Norberg of Nordic Capital, Capital T, Globivest, and Norrsken Foundation. 

Earlier this year, we wrote about the Norrsken Foundation’s Norrsken22 Africa Tech Growth Fund, a $200 million fund backed and managed by 30 unicorn founders to help African entrepreneurs build the next generation of tech giants. 

Sultan Quadri Staff Writer

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