Techstars, one of Africa’s most active startup investors, has unveiled 12 startups in its second cohort for its Lagos-based accelerator programme. The startups will receive $120,000 in funding.

Techstars, a global accelerator with over 3,000 companies in its portfolio, has announced the second cohort of its Africa-focused accelerator programme in partnership with ARM Labs, a Nigerian accelerator. The cohort includes a dozen startups operating in Ghana, Nigeria, and East Africa and has four teams with at least one female co-founder. The selected startups will receive $120,000 in funding and $400,000 in cash equivalent hosting, accounting and legal support and other benefits worth more than $5 million.

“The current market dynamics means that founders need a combination of financial support as well as technical assistance and access to networks in order to build resilient businesses,” Oyin Solebo, managing director, ARM Labs Lagos Techstars Accelerator, said.

After a record-breaking 2022, with almost $5 billion raised, Africa’s tech funding party fizzled in 2023. Depending on where you consult for data, they all suggest a slowdown in funding for each quarter of this year compared to last year. This funding winter meant that investors became more conservative and applied measured investing. 

Nevertheless, several investors and investment funds are still backing startups on the continent. Techstars, which has invested in more than 70 African startups, is broadening the scope of startups it is investing in with its second cohort. The first cohort’s focus was on fintech and proptech startups, but this cohort has selected startups in fintech, logistics, e-commerce, healthtech, renewable energy, and the future of work. 

“Our second cohort truly showcases, and perhaps also epitomises, the wealth of talent, innovation and ingenuity that can be found within the African tech ecosystem,” Solebo added.

In addition to the funding, the cohort will receive mentorship sessions from notable experts in Africa’s tech ecosystem, like Tunde Kehinde, the CEO of Lidya; Bode Abifarin, the Chief Operating Officer at Flutterwave;  Tingting Peng, the Chief Capital and Strategy Officer at Moove; Kevin Simmons, a partner at LoftyInc; Lola Esan, a partner at EY; and Yischai Beinisch, the Head for Shell’s West African Emerging Market Power.

These experts will provide the startups with comprehensive guidance and specialised services to support their growth journey. The startups will also access Techstars’ 10,000 founders, alumni, and mentors network. 

Meet the selected startups in this cohort:

  • 24Seven:  founded by Olufemi Idowu, is an asset-light marketplace that enables small businesses and convenience stores to order inventory on credit with one-hour doorstep delivery. 
  • Beauty Hut:  founded by Subuola Oyeleye, is an e-commerce startup that allows users to shop from their favourite beauty brands in their e-commerce web store and mobile app. 
  • Eight Medical: an end-to-end platform that connects users in need to emergency medical resources (such as hospitals, ambulances, personnel, information, and credit), reducing waiting times from an average of 3 hours to 10 minutes or less.  
  • GetEquity: facilitates access to investment opportunities by SEC-accredited providers, reducing entry barriers through investment aggregation across various asset classes. 
  • JumpnPass: founded by Tunde Ademuyiwa and Qudus Quadry, is a mobile self-checkout platform that  enables shoppers to use their smartphones to scan product barcodes, pay for items, and skip long queues
  • One Plan: helps workers in Africa’s informal economy create affordable financial plans, making it easier to start a retirement plan, access low-interest credit, and access health and life insurance coverage. 
  • PBR Life Sciences: founded by Ayodeji Alaran, offers pharmaceutical, consumer healthcare, and medical device companies fast and easy access to high-quality market data and insights, helping them make objective decisions on product pricing, volumes, and company strategy. 
  • PressOne Africa: provides African businesses with deeper insights into phone conversations with customers through a communication platform that provides conversation intelligence and call monitoring. 
  • Rana: founded by Abraham Mohammed and Mubarak Popoola, democratises access to clean and reliable solar systems for SMEs and residential customers through affordable long-term solar subscriptions, replacing the need for expensive, unreliable, and toxic backup generators. 
  • Surge Africa: founded by Kumar Shourav and Ebrahim Essop, allows African individuals, micro-entrepreneurs and MSMEs to make instant cross-border transfers and pay up to 80% less in fees.
  • Swoove: empowers logistics companies in emerging markets to digitise and scale their businesses with dispatch automation, fleet management, tracking, telematics, and a wide delivery network. 
  • Veend: founded by Olufemi Olanipekun and Ebenezer Ajayi, enables individuals and businesses with verifiable income to access funds on-demand, addressing their needs for emergency funds or working capital

The program will conclude with an invite-only Demo Day on February 22nd, 2024, where founders will showcase their progress. 

Faith Omoniyi Intern Reporter

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