Pan-African incubator MEST Africa, has announced that it is investing in the 11 startups that are graduating from its 2019 cohort of tech companies. A total of USD 1.1 Mn in funding is being given out, with each of the innovation-driven companies receiving USD 100 K each.
The Accra-based group’s largest backing to date, the funding could mark a new beginning in its seed funding habit for Africa firms. The startups will now become part of MEST Incubators in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. Meanwhile, the decision to invest was made after 13 startups participated in the final pitch event.
Considering country presence and membership, MEST is one of the most significant tech hubs in Africa. More importantly, the group has a new managing director. Aaron Fu is being succeeded by Ashwin Ravichandran, per a July development.
The incubator ordinarily takes equity stakes in its portfolio startups. For 19 months, the companies are incubated and given the option to work out of MEST incubators in a multiplicity of African markets. The tech hub is looking to take its initiative to other countries. Already established in Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, it wants to set up a shop in Ivory Coast.
Four of the funded companies will be launching in Ghana. They include social support network and healthcare service aggregator Massira. BezoMoney, a digital savings platform, consumer financing service Niqao, and Adi+Bolga, a big data platform.
Three of the incubatees – Farmula, Saada and Nadia – will launch in Kenya, while three others – CoFundie, CoVibes and Zuri – will launch in Nigeria. For the first time, a MEST Africa portfolio startup will launch in South Africa, which is Kweza, a service for informal retailers.
“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 MEST managing director Ashwin Ravichandran.
“This will be the first year the newly-funded startups from MEST 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 Africa.”