XL Africa

Scaling up digital innovation

We are interested in finding digital startups that are looking to raise between $250k and $1.5m.



We are looking for 20 high-growth digital startups seeking to raise between $250K and $1.5M in funding. We can help with access to funding, networks, mentoring and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs in the form of the following:

We will help your company access capital, expand market share, and refine its business model through tailored mentorship, coaching, and networking opportunities. Here’s what we offer:

  • Structured access to investors throughout the program and at a Venture Showcase Day in South Africa.
  • Mentoring from at least two successful entrepreneurs or investors (global and local) to develop accurate company valuations, financial forecasts, risk management and customer acquisition strategies. Access to other expertise is provided based on your specific needs. 
  • The opportunity to meet with investors, potential customers and partners as well as peers at an all-expenses paid residency in Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Support in developing investment packages so you’re ready for investment following the program.
  • Knowledge through curated content designed to teach you everything you need to know about marketing, financing and market expansion.



  • Your startup is for profit and registered
  • Your team consists of at least 3 people
  • Your team is based in one of the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa (see full list of eligible countries)
  • You have a very strong management team
  • You have a digital product or service available on the market right now, with demonstrated tangible traction and evidence of revenue
  • You have potential to achieve scale
  • You are seeking investment capital in the range of $250K – $1.5m
  • While there will be exceptions, mostly likely your startup has already received investment capital, structured as either debt or equity, or received grants from donor organizations.



To select the top 20 start-ups, we will consider:

Commercial Value of your Product/Service (25%)
Your company addresses a real problem in the market. The digital solution is different to others in the industry. Your product or service is catalyzing social change.

Strategy for Growth (25%)

There is potential to expand into new markets or expand at home. We can see demonstrable progress, and your startup is scalable.

Management (25%)

The team have the qualifications needed to make the business successful.

Market Traction & Financials (25%)

We will evaluate your market traction and look at the potential market size. We’ll also look at your business model, revenue streams and unit economics, and if any outside funding has been raised before.



If you are accepted into the program, you will be asked to:
  • Engage regularly with mentors (4-6 hours a month) over five months. Remember it’s a two-way street – both mentors and mentees learn and commit to this relationship. In many cases, we expect these relationships to last long after the program has ended. 
  • Over 5 months, participate in four virtual webinar sessions run by global experts with inputs from leading African and US investors and successful entrepreneurs. 
  • Participate in the residential program in South Africa for two weeks in November 2017.
  • Engage with 19 other African enterprises, along with mentors, investors and strategic partners.
  • Come with an open mind and be willing to learn and collaborate. 


Organizer XL Africa
Countries Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Rep, Chad, Congo, Dem. Rep. Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Reunion, Rwanda, São Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Sectors Agribusiness, Creative, media and entertainment, Education, Financial services, Healthcare, Leisure and travel, Transport and logistics, Water, sanitation and hygiene
Based in Pan-African programme Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa




  • i about to call just waiting for time stephen oyaya from kenya

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  • As a Senior Healthcare Optimization and Project Management Development Consultant on the operations team of Afripharm Medicals, Irem Bright plays a key role in the project conception and development as well as administration and logistics of the Organization. He aligns business priorities with technology strategy, driving end-to-end integrated business solutions: mobile strategy, cloud technology, enterprise architecture, technology integration, and team leadership to harness IT strategy.

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  • I have really started following up the partner program XL AFRICA.

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  • Who will finance the programme i.e flight, accommodation, feeding etc.?

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  • What about the sponsorship?

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  • Following the partner program but digital business in not yet deployed working on it on papers

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  • Lucy Mwaniki has started following the partner program XL Africa