GSMA offers equity-free investments to 8 African Startups
The GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund has made equity-free investments into 15 startups. Each of the startups will receive up to US$349,000 aimed at helping them scale their products and services.
Eight African startups are among the 15 grantees. They include two Ugandan startups, LipaMobile, an online mobile payment platform sending and receiving mobile money across all networks in Uganda; and Ensibuuko, a mobile financial startup with a cloud-based solution customised for savings and credit cooperatives.
Two Senegalese startups, MaTontine, and SudPay are on the list. MaTontine is an online financial platform offering services such as savings, micro loans, and micro-health insurance, while SudPay has a mobile solution that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) use to pay taxes to government.
Nigeria’s Farmcrowdy, a digital agriculture platform connecting farm sponsors with real farmers, and Tanzania’s Jamii Africa, a mobile health insurance startup are part of the eight startups.
In addition, Kenya’s Lynk, an online platform connecting businesses and individuals with domestic workers and artisans, and Zambia’s Musanga Logistics, an on-demand delivery startup are also selected.
Max Cuvellier who is head of the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator said the selection covers more sectors this year, including health, insurance, and logistics, than the previous years and focuses on a wider range of areas in which local SMEs are using mobile innovation to help solve local problems.
“Collectively they tackle thirteen of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals introduced by the United Nations and embraced by the mobile industry as a whole,” says Cuvellier.
“Our commitments to support and develop local talent, and to better represent female entrepreneurs and managers also remain very strong; local staff and women represent respectively 83 per cent and 32 per cent of all management positions in our current portfolio,” he said.
The innovation fund is managed by GSMA association with support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and the Australian Government.
Deji Aroloye91 Posts
a graduate of Linguistics and a staff writer at Outrepreneurs, Deji's forte includes tech, startups and innovations. Years back, Deji wrote on Entertainment and Lifestyle for a tabloid. If he wasn't a writer, Deji would be a photographer or teacher.