Twelve African IT businesses have been chosen for the inaugural ARM Labs Lagos Techstars accelerator, which offers up to $120,000 in equity funding and other forms of support.
The inaugural edition of the ARM Labs Lagos Techstars accelerator will run for three months and will be launched by Techstars, a global investment business that provides access to capital, one-on-one mentorship, and customized programming for early-stage entrepreneurs, in collaboration with ARM Labs, a Lagos-based innovation program focused on helping fintech startups.
The initial cohort of 10 Nigerian and two Kenyan businesses, half of which have female CEOs, is aimed at early-stage African fintech and proptech startups.
Each accepted firm receives up to $120,000 in equity capital, as well as training and access to a large investor network. The program culminates on March 16 with a demo day.
Peppa.io, which uses payment protection to make it safer to buy on social platforms; CDcare, which makes it easy for Africans to own gadgets, appliances, cars, and more at zero interest through smart installment plans; Flick, which allows users to connect multiple bank accounts and pay directly from one source; Keble, which allows Africans at home and abroad to purchase fractional shares of global real estate, were among the Nigerian startups that were selected for the program.
Salad, which provides employees with financial services and benefits beyond their monthly paycheck; Sidebrief, which simplifies the process of starting and scaling a business across borders; Towntalk, which provides shippers with real-time location and behavioral analytics, vehicle tracking, and access to insurance providers; Vittas, a digital lender for healthcare providers; and Oystr Finance, which provides lenders with an infrastructural loan; and Oystr Finance, which provides lenders with an infrastructural loan also made it into the program.
The two Kenyan firms participating in the initiative are alphabloQ, a real estate investment platform, and Cladfy, which provides credit profiling, digitized loan administration, and access to affordable, reliable funding to microfinance lenders.
Selected entrepreneurs went through several interviews with Techstars global team members, as well as a final interview with Techstars managing director Oyin Solebo and a 15-member screening committee.
“Since the announcement that Techstars was coming to Lagos, there has been great anticipation about the selection of the inaugural cohort. 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,” Solebo said.