Startup entrepreneurs are working to harness Africa’s potential. Together they represent a critical pipeline of innovation that is driving high growth high impact solutions on the continent. A critical juncture for any startup comes at the seed stage, a financing segment that has experienced significant changes these past months. And to ensure that innovative high-growth ventures that have the potential to yield high social and environmental impact secure the capital they require, it is imperative we continue efforts to establish a strong Seed market. Improved access to liquidity and downstream funding supports the development of a strong African startup ecosystem, and further propels a still nascent but fast-growing early-stage investing movement gaining traction across the continent.
The 9 companies in the 2020 VC4A Venture Showcase – Seed portfolio represent the best Seed investment opportunities on the continent. They have been vetted by VC investors through a rigorous referral and selection process. They demonstrate strong market potential and competitive edge, are well-positioned for regional and international expansion and are working on important innovations in the healthcare, finance, transport, commerce and advertising sectors.
The founders will showcase their businesses online in front of investors during the Africa Early Stage Investor Summit on 3-4 November 2020, with the aim of raising $150K – $1M in Seed capital. All companies provide technology-intensive or innovation-based products or services that are currently available in one or more African markets.
The 2020 VC4A Venture Showcase – Seed portfolio:
Akiba Digital is a fintech analytics startup that is helping African financial businesses understand their customers better through the power of predictive insights.
Foodlocker supplies farm produce and consumer goods to large buyers by using data science and demand-matching technologies to optimize the yields of smallholder farmers and to prevent side-selling. We use our technology (https://www.foodlocker.africa) to inform smallholder farmers about what to produce (demand), when to produce (timing), how to produce (Good Agricultural Practices), and for whom to produce (customer segments).
GoBEBA is a household goods distributor, helping consumers access cooking gas conveniently and affordably. We provide an on-demand marketplace for LPG cooking gas, points-of-sale distribution, and a pay-per-use utility offering. GoBEBA has partnered with nearly all the major oil marketing companies for distribution of LPG.
Interact produces Tact, a kit that includes an infrared detector and electronic pen that transforms any huge monitor into a fast and accurate interactive surface for collaboration, whether it was a TV screen or even a projected wall, so you can use visual aids, interactive applications, access the internet, record lessons, Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and many more… just about any computer application you control with a mouse.
LetMeIn is a hyper-fast growing turn-key software solution that helps facilitate a safe return to work for large organisations while ensuring strictest compliance with evolving local government regulations. The LetMeIn Enterprise Solution comprises three integrated apps: 1) Employee Health Monitoring, 2) Access Management System, and 3) Case Management System.
The Medical Concierge Group (TMCG), through its consumer brand name, Rocket Health (RH), delivers Telemedicine and last mile health services in East Africa. This is initiated with chat/voice/video call consultation with RH medical doctors available 24/7.
Tibu leverages its healthtech logistics platform to facilitate the access to curated healthcare services in real-time and at a time and location of a patient’s choosing. Our platform equally centralizes health data and puts the patient in complete control of their medical records and, ultimately, their health.
Utiva is a data-centric and AI-powered remote learning technology company that helps individuals develop skills and capabilities for industry 4.0 and the future of work.
Hypernova is building a breakthrough propulsion system for small satellites. Our vacuum arc thruster (VAT) uses solid metal as fuel. Not only is our VAT safer and more reliable than existing solutions, it is the only commercial propulsion system built to use materials from the Moon, asteroids, or other celestial bodies to refuel. Our vision is to make the promise of in-situ space resource utilization a reality in the next decade.
Over the next weeks, the selected startups will participate in a virtual residency program, including pitch training and interacting & learning from mentors, peers, and partners. They will also be linked to top VC investors. The program entails:
- 3-minute pitches at the virtual Africa Early Stage Investor Summit 2020 #AESIS2020
- The pitches will become available to the investor community on investors.vc4a.com.
- 30-minute one-on-one deep-dive sessions with investors
- AWS Activate offers the selected cohort AWS credits worth $10,000, as well as tools, resources, and more to get started quickly on AWS
- The startups join the VC4A alumni network and gain exclusive access to fundraising opportunities.
VC4A is excited to see the Venture Showcase becoming a great example of true industry collaboration. The vetting process is fully undertaken by our partnering external investors, where these organizations refer their portfolio companies ready for the next round. VC4A’s partner VCs then assess the opportunities and ultimately decide who will appear on the virtual #AESIS2020 stage.
Investor participation has been outstanding this year, with 70+ major VCs and multiple angel groups involved in the process. We believe initiatives like this help to build trust and foster collaboration between industry stakeholders, and importantly, create both co-investment opportunities and exit opportunities for our partners.
2020 selection committee
If you are interested in attending the 2020 VC4A Venture Showcase – Seed as an investor or corporate partner, please register via www.AfricaInvestorSummit.com or get in touch with us by email at: team[at]africainvestorsummit.com.
Africa Early Stage Investor Summit #AESIS2020
While this year’s Summit will not have the beautiful backdrop of Cape Town (unless you’re lucky enough to be joining us from there), we do plan to deliver just as high-quality and engaging sessions as in years’ past – through what we’re calling Investor Dialogues. The first day is centred around ‘Seed’, the second on ‘Series A’ and both days will feature insightful keynotes, fireside chats, expert panel discussions, technical sessions and pitches from the most promising companies part of the VC4A Venture Showcases.
As we are finalizing the program for the summit, we are happy to announce some of the investors that will be leading the conversations. Rebecca Enonchong will sit down with McKinsey Africa Chairman, Acha Leke, on 3 November to discuss macroeconomic and geopolitical forces that are shaping Africa. And we will host multiple expert panels, including on ‘The Futurebuilders’, with Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Erick Yong, Ola Brown, Sangu Delle and Zach George. There is also a ‘Going Global’ panel with reps from Kepple Africa Ventures, Orange Ventures and Dazzle Angels, and one on ‘Building a Resilient Industry’, with Wim van der Beek and Khaled Ismail, among others. Furthermore, there will be 4 interactive technical sessions. They include: ‘The Fundamentals of Fund Management’ by Eghosa Omoigui; ‘Valuing African Startups’ by Tomi Davies; and ‘Due Diligence’ by Aaron Fu and the Catalyst Fund team.
We are sincerely grateful for the 1,000+ entrepreneurs that took the time to apply for the 2020 Showcase. There are so many quality companies and management teams deserving of attention, making it a challenging decision-making process for us and our investor committee. The Showcase objective is to promote an increasing number of high-quality Seed investment opportunities on the continent. This is why we will also share our list of top companies – based on the investor committee ratings – with our wider investor network.
We are thankful to the investors and partners that support us along this journey. We believe that, together, we help raise global awareness and attention to the best the continent has to offer.
Look forward to seeing you ONLINE in November!