MEST Africa is investing US$1,1m in eleven early-stage startups from its 2019 graduating cohort. This is the largest single investment MEST has made in one of its cohorts to date.
Out of 13 teams, composed of 51 entrepreneurs hailing from The Gambia, Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania, Cameroon, Mali, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, and Zimbabwe, MEST will invest $100,000 in each of eleven companies who will join MEST Incubators in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.
“We are incredibly impressed by the eleven teams we are investing in today, each consisting of a diverse set of Pan-African co-founders,” said Ashwin Ravichandran, managing director at MEST.
“This will be the first year the newly funded startups from MEST all together, will be launching in each of our incubators across the continent – in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. Also this year, we are elated to have the first-ever MEST company that will launch in South Africa. The locations of our incubators will allow the companies to position themselves in the best possible market for their entry, and in the future, they will aid them in scaling and expanding across Pan-Africa,” he added.
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Here are the 11 startups that will receive the funding:
- Massira: A social support network and healthcare service aggregator for women, launching in Ghana
- BezoMoney: A digital savings platform for traditional savings groups, launching in Ghana
- Farmula: A web and USSD platform to create a direct connection between farmers and businesses using an automated process to increase order efficiency, launching in Kenya
- CoFundie: A platform for crowd-sourcing funds for the development of buildings using cost-efficient and time-saving techniques, launching in Nigeria
- Niqao: A financing platform that connects merchants and lenders to enable them to offer customers the option of paying in instalments, launching in Ghana
- Saada: A ticketing experience that is for a fast and convenient by combining messaging and mobile money for increasing digital sales and data collection, launching in Kenya
- Nadia: A personalized automated health companion that provides quick medical attention and prescriptions, launching in Kenya
- Kweza: A service that enables informal retailers to order products at the best price and receive deliveries directly to their stores, launching in South Africa
- CoVibes: A platform that pairs verified studios and producers, allowing them to list their profiles and manage bookings while enabling artists to find and collaborate with them and each other, launching in Nigeria
- Adi+Bolga: A platform using the power of technology and community to gather data and create conversations around the black skin and black skincare, launching in Ghana
- Zuri: A platform that helps beauty professionals manage their customers and provides an easy way for people to find and book beauty services, launching in Nigeria
This is the first time MEST has made an investment in 80% of the cohort, the previous record has never exceeded 65%. The investment also includes the first startup from the MEST training program planning its market entry in South Africa.