Global startup accelerator Techstars, in partnership with Lagos-based innovation ARM Labs, has announced its inaugural class of 12 startups for the new ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator Program.
The lagos-based programme which is focused on building early-stage African fintech and proptech startups has chosen a cohort of 10 Nigerian and 2 Kenyan startups, with 50% female CEOs.
Startups that applied for this programme went through several interviews with members of the Techstars global team, and a final interview with Techstars Managing Director, Oyin Solebo and a 15-member screening committee. Some members of this committee included Ashim Octerra Managing Partner, Octerra Capital; Olumide Soyombo, Partner at Voltron Capital; Charlene Chen, former COO of AZA Finance, among others.
“After a competitive application process, we have chosen entrepreneurs who have the capacity to be exceptional founders, startups that have the potential to be industry leaders, and a cohort that is collectively capable of bringing innovation and change to Africa and the world,” said Solebo.
The programme which began in December 2022 will see the 12 startups go through a 13-week bootcamp programme where they’ll be taught and mentored on the rudiments of building a startup. The sessions are delivered in a hybrid manner with the startups participating in physical sessions at least three times a week.
“We’ve curated content and sessions based on what every founder needs and their specific market,” Solebo said. “The startups will attend sessions on understanding your customer and your unique value proposition, creating a financial model, scaling, recruiting and retaining top talent.”
The programme which began in December has hosted speakers such as Tunde Kehinde, Co-founder and CEO, Lidya (previously Co-founder & Managing Director, Jumia); Bode Abifarin, COO, Flutterwave; Amandine Lobelle, COO, Paystack and many others.
In addition to this, the startups have access to 95 industry experts as mentors. Within the first month of the programme, the startups had two weeks of speed dating sessions (mental magic) with the 95 different mentors to select who they wanted to work with to help accelerate their business.
The startups also receive the Techstars standard deal of $120,000—$20,000 equity upfront and an optional $100,000 convertible note investment in exchange for 6–9% equity.
“As ARM partners with Techstars to launch an accelerator program that provides funding, mentorship, and access to networks and resources, our goal is to unearth the next set of Unicorns out of Africa,” said Ina Alogwu, Group Director, Digital Transformation, ARMHoldCo.
This inaugural programme ends in March with a demo day event where the startups are invited to pitch their product to investors and provide a demo.
Meet the 12 startups
alphabloQ is a real estate investment platform founded by Trevor Kimani and John Mbui. The startup’s mission is simple – to reduce the entry barrier for real estate investors by enabling investors to purchase a fraction of income-generating properties.
peppa.io, founded by Banky Alao, Bridget Yadua-Soremekun and Emmanuel Obute, is making it safer to buy on social platforms for Africans through the use of payment protection.
CDcare is making it easy for Africans to own gadgets, appliances, cars and more at zero interest, through smart installment plans. The company was founded by Tobi Odukoya and Deji Farohun.
Founded by Ebby Gatamu and Kibe John, Cladfy provides microfinance lenders with credit profiling, digitised loan management, and access to affordable, reliable financing.
Flick is building PayPal for Africa; enabling users to connect multiple bank accounts and pay directly from one source, making payments 7x faster. Ruth Olojedeand Dipo Gbadebo are the founders of the company.
Keble, founded by Emmanuel Oballa, Agulanna Josemaria, Adebisi Borokinni and Valentine Offiah, enables Africans at home and abroad to purchase fractional shares of global real estate for as low as $10.
Keza is powering smartphone financing by enabling people to buy brand-new and certified pre-owned smartphones on a flexible payment plan. Keza Africa was founded by Aisha Hussaini.
Salad was founded by Chikodi Ukaiwe and Seunfunmi Omotunde and is providing employees with access to financial services and benefits beyond their monthly paycheck.
Sidebrief simplifies the process of starting and scaling a business across borders, with its one-stop solution for registration, banking and regulatory compliance. The company was founded by Eunice Olopade, Abdulwaheed Yusuf and Usman Sotunde,
Towntalk, founded by Folake Edun, Disun Vera-Cruz and Tomiwa Erinosho, is building Area!–a protection platform giving companies peace of mind when moving goods and people from point A to B, by providing real-time location and behavioural analytics, vehicle tracking and access to insurance providers.
Vittas is a digital lender for healthcare providers, using machine learning, partnerships and embedded 3rd party SaaS solutions to provide loans for the purchase of medications and medical equipment.Vittas was founded by Sulav Singh, Collins Uche and Eric Okemmadu.
Founded by Ifedolapo Lawal, Olusola Onajobi and Omotayo Iginla, Oystr is democratizing credit in Africa. The company provides lenders with an infrastructure to help them launch low-risk micro-loan products, grow their portfolios and expand into new markets in less than 30 minutes.