20 top Francophone African startups enter World Bank Group tech acceleration program

Twenty of the most promising Francophone African tech start-ups will participate in the L’Afrique Excelle residency in Mali, a full-week Bootcamp set to kick off the Francophone edition of the World Bank Group’s XL Africa, tech start-up accelerator.

From March 24 to 30, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to network and learn from leading industry experts, increase their regional visibility and network with potential corporate partners and investors.


L’Afrique Excelle is the francophone adaptation of the popular XL Africa program which seeks to foster a stronger connection between entrepreneurs in Anglophone and Francophone Africa while providing support to those from less developed digital ecosystems, particularly in fragile countries such as the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Togo and Mali. The launch of L’Afrique Excelle coincides with several new ecosystem initiatives from the public and private sectors, including the French Development Agency’s Digital Africa initiative, the recently established Africa-focused investment funds extending their reach beyond Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa in addition to the upcoming Francophone Africa Investor Summit (FAIS), a regional West Africa event designed to convene early-stage investors, large companies, and business-supporting organizations.


L’Afrique Excelle’s start-ups specialize in tech solutions for the African market designed to expand reach and access to services. These include fintech, transportation, healthcare, cleantech, data analytics and enterprise software. Companies in the program have their products or services currently available in one or more Francophone African markets, have strong revenues, and are well-positioned for growth and cross-border expansion. During the Mali Residency, this cohort will benefit from training, individual consultations and peer-to-peer learning, The Residency will conclude with a venture showcase at the Francophone Africa Investor Summit. A select 10 companies will advance to the France Residency in May 2019, where they will receive intensive training and mentoring at the camp with Sophia Business Angels, coaching by experts at Deloitte’s and Google’s offices, and get exposure to investors at the upcoming AfroBytes and VivaTech conferences to be held in Paris on May 15-18, 2019. With participation from Africa’s leading investment groups, L’Afrique Excelle will help these start-ups attract early stage capital between US$250,000 and US$5 million.

Similar to the XL Africa program, L’Afrique Excelle has attracted a number of growth-oriented digital start-ups from Francophone Africa. Many of them have already raised seed funding, totaling over $11 million, and are active in several African markets. This is a strong signal regarding the competitiveness of Francophone African start-ups and their contribution to Africa’s digital economies

Sebastian Molineus, Director of the Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation Global Practice at the World Bank Group

The selection process for L’Afrique Excelle is led by an external investor committee. Over 30 VC funds and investment groups have come on board as official program partners, with the fund managers vetting the companies, reviewing their applications and conducting interviews. The selection was completed by a panel of industry experts from prominent Africa-focused funds including Proparco, Orange Digital Ventures, GSMA, Brightmore Capital, BlackPearl, Partech, AHL Venture Partners, GreenTec Capital, Outlierz Ventures, Accion, First Growth Fund, Compass VC and Oikocredit.

L’Afrique Excelle is an opportunity to highlight the work of companies from the francophone world and give them a well-deserved and much needed exposure. I enjoyed discussing with the founders I have been introduced to and found their respective models to be of great interest and responding to clear and present needs. I look forward to the next steps and especially the VivaTech part where start-ups will have a powerful stage to showcase their endeavors. I am already convinced that this kind of program should be run on a yearly basis.”

Sofien V. Sidhoum, Partner at GreenTec Capital

Supporting a new generation of African entrepreneurs in building innovative business models to solve the continent’s challenges is at the core of our mission. Our participation in L’Afrique Excelle enables us to meet with exceptional entrepreneurs who dedicate their efforts to solving significant challenges on the continent.”

Babacar Seck, investment officer at Proparco


StarNew Mobile Cameroon

StarNews Mobile is a network of mobile video channels allowing celebrities and brands to monetize their fan bases in Africa

GiftedMom Cameroon

GiftedMom is a mobile-based maternal health education solution to reduce maternal mortality rates in emerging markets by 9.7% annually

PAPS Senegal

Paps is responsible for the pickup and drop of any type of product, whether it’s a document or a pair of shoes from one place to another

Firefly Media Senegal

FIREFLY is an exclusive advertising agency offering a complete service to the clients, by  meeting the communication objectives and allowing unlimited creativity

Solaris Offgrid Tanzania, United Republic of

Solaris Offgrid is developing technology solutions for the 1 billion+ people who live without access to modern forms of energy.

Optimetriks France

Optimetriks help Fast Moving Consumer Goods companies operating in Africa to better manage their distribution, through a scientific and data-driven approach

MaTontine Senegal

MaTontine seeks to solve a current and challenging problem existing in Africa and the developing world, to offer financial services like small loans at scale to the financially excluded

LAfricaMobile Senegal

LAfricaMobile is a multichannel mobile platform that allows startups and African organizations to better interact with mobile users

LONO Côte d'Ivoire

LONO has developed an innovative product  KubeKo, a solar-powered bin that converts organic waste into compost and biogas

SUDPAY Senegal

SUDPAY  is a startup specialized in Mobility Solutions and Ticketing. It developed a service platform and electronic payment platforms adapted to African realities

SmartOne Madagascar

SmartOne is a data annotation service, providing high quality and high scale human-in-the-loop data to feed AI and ML projects

CityTaps Niger

CityTaps has developed CTSuite, a water prepayment service that comprises the world’s only smart and prepaid water meter, CTMeter, and billing software, CTCloud

Diool Cameroon

Diool offers a simple way of exchanging digital payments and accessing financial services at scale

OniriQ Senegal

OniriQ designs and manufactures the next generation of Solar Home Systems (SHS) for African Off-grid Populations

Eyone Senegal

EYONE is an IT company specializing in software publishing, consulting and information systems architecture, offering applications available on-site or online for tablet and mobile

L’Afrique Excelle is powered by the World Bank Group and the Tubaniso Agribusiness and Innovation Center (TAIC) with financial assistance from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and implemented by VC4A, Suguba and Sahel’Innov.

For more information on the program and the selected start-ups, visit https://www.afrique-excelle.com. To attend the Francophone Africa Investor Summit, visit this website.