Techstars, a Toronto-based accelerator, is in the business of igniting the global information economy by advancing innovative teams and ideas in various parts of the world including Africa.
Techstars made its first African investment in 2019, through Nigerian payments infrastructure startup, Korapay. In 2020, it backed cryptocurrency exchange platform, Quidax and Fliqpay, an international payment infrastructure startup.
Techstars Toronto has subsequently made investments in other African startups including TalentQL, Healthtracka, Payday, RentSmallSmall, Ourpass, Fleri, Lenco, Kyshi, Emergency Response Africa, Gigmile, Glade, Mycoverai, Blackcopper, Bongalow, and truQ, amongst others.
Techstars CEO Maëlle Gavet last year during a trip to Lagos said: “Africa in general and Nigeria in particular as a key market we [Techstars] wanted to be in,”
Most of Techstar’s investments in Africa have been in fintech startups and companies from Nigeria and history is about to repeat itself. Techstars Toronto 2023 summer cohort includes ten African startups out of 24 Startups. Five out of the ten African startups are from Nigeria with most of them being fintechs.
Following the announcement of Techstars Toronto 100th investment milestone, Sunil Sharma, managing director of Techstars Toronto said: “This 100th investment from our Toronto fund showcases our dedication to fostering innovation in Canada, and in emerging markets. Moreover, we are lifetime partners to these founders, with skin in the game,”
Techstars “actively cultivate startup culture at the local level, growing communities of entrepreneurs through live events, mentorship, and education to create a more sustainable and inclusive world.” as seen by Techlivefeeds.com on Techstars Toronto website.
Below is a list of the African startups in the Techstars Toronto Accelerator 2023 summer cohort:
•CatalyzU (South Africa): CatalyzU vets, trains, & places Africa’s leading talent at global startups.
•Chimoney (Nigeria): A fintech startup that allows users to seamlessly send money globally via Emails, Phones, or Twitter, and easily cash out through Banks, Mobile Wallets, Crypto, Gift Cards, and more.
•Cutstruct (Nigeria): A building material marketplace, driving efficiency and transparency in construction.
•Hulugram (Ethiopia): Enabling social engagement for over 30 million internet users in Ethiopia via a chat-based platform.
•Ladder (Ghana): AI-powered wealth management for people and businesses providing personalised financial advisory and accountancy services.
•MPOST (Kenya): MPost empowers individuals in the developing countries with virtual addresses using mobile numbers as official addresses for KYC, insurance, banking, and eCommerce, to build a digital infrastructure for seamless transactions.
•Oval (Nigeria): Finance OS for growing businesses.
•Payfi (Nigeria): Helping International Students Access Affordable Housing
•Reeple.ai (Nigeria): Helping African immigrants in the Diaspora access seamless financial services.
•Seso (Ghana): Utilising advanced technology and domain knowledge, Seso Global offers trust and transparency to the African Real Estate market.