Fintech in Africa: AWS Launches Inaugural Accelerator with 25 Startups
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced the selection of 25 African fintech startups for its inaugural FinTech Africa Accelerator cohort. The selected startups, hailing from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Ghana, Uganda, and Cameroon, were chosen from over 500 applications as part of the EMEA Startup Loft Accelerator (SLA) program run by AWS.
The accelerator program, set to commence in June, will run for 10 weeks. During this period, the pre-seed and seed stage fintech startups will receive technical review workshop sessions, up to $25K USD in AWS technical credits, and one-on-one mentorship from industry leaders such as the Africa Fintech Summit (AFTS), Lendsqr, and Vestbee.
The selection comes at a time when Africa’s fintech ecosystem is experiencing rapid growth, reaching $2B USD in 2022, according to data from Briter Bridges. Notably, six out of seven of the continent’s unicorns operate in the financial services industry.
The cohort includes a diverse array of fintech companies, each offering unique value propositions and verticals. These range from finance/lending for MSME’s, cryptocurrency transactions, global remittance products, freelancer payment & invoice management, to export/import management, and much more.
Napa Onwusah, Start-up Segment Lead at AWS, expressed excitement about the initiative. “At AWS, we’re thrilled to be a part of Africa’s digital transformation, making core financial services accessible to more individuals and businesses. We believe that anyone, regardless of their location, should be able to access innovative technologies and realize their dreams,” she said.
Industry leaders have also voiced their support for the program. Agnes Aistleitner Kisuule, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of First Circle Capital, described the program as a great opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to refine their ideas and drive growth in Africa’s financial services industry. Similarly, Barbara Iyayi, the Founding Managing Partner at Unicorn Growth Capital, emphasized the importance of fintech for Africa’s economic growth.
The program is backed by major players in the African financial technology industry, including the Africa Fintech Summit, Unicorn Growth Capital, Lateral Frontiers VC, First Circle, Dawn Capital, White Star Capital, Blackfin Capital Partners, Vestbee, Alma Angels, Flashpoint Venture Capital, Vertis Capital, Next Road Ventures, Afrolynk, Stripe, Zendesk Startups, Techcabal, Paga, Lendsqr, and Conduit.
List of the selected startups and their respective countries:
|Nigeria||Ashiri NG, bunce, DeemPay, Fluna, Incash, KoinWa, Stacs, Vagrent Africa, WALLX Africa, Zainnest, Zeeh Africa|
|Kenya||Chumz, hela.money, Kiotapay, Mauzo|
|Ghana||Asaana Pay, Edanra, Exxtra, H28 Technologies|
|Uganda||eMaisha Pay, Xazu Technologies|
|South Africa||Abela iMali, Moya Money|