The Village Capital Fintech Africa 2018 program will see the 12 early-stage African fintech startups, which are focused on improving financial health, work through a specific curriculum over a three-month period, according to a Village Capital press release.
The startups, which have been chosen from Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria, will have the opportunity to engage with potential customers, strategic partners, mentors, investors, sector experts, and PayPal employees.
The top two entrepreneurs in the program, as selected by their peers, will receive an investment of $50,000 each from Village Capital.
Last year AFKInsider spoke to Adedana Ashebir, the regional manager for Africa at Village Capital, as she expressed her excitement about the company’s role in uplifting the fintech sector across the African continent.
Applications for this year’s program opened in October last year, with Village Capital searching for early-stage startups in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda that apply fintech to sectors of interest such as agriculture, energy, education, and health.
The fintech sector in Africa is expected to grow by $3 billion over the next two years, according to research by independent pan-African banking group Ecobank.
The program targets firms that address challenges within insurtech, pensions and savings, cooperative finance, and financial literacy; as well as leveraging data for credit scoring and consumer insights.
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With the 12 startups now selected, they will go through a readiness program from March to May, participating in three four-day workshops before their chance to boost investment in their ideas.
The chosen startups include Youverify, Social Lender, Finance Life Technologies Limited and CredPal from Nigeria, Annona, FPESA, GrassRoots Bima, and Tulaa from Kenya, as well as Ensibuuko, Mazima Retirement Plan, Numida Technologies and Patasente Inc from Uganda.
In April last year the 2017 edition of the program came to a conclusion, with two financial inclusion-focused startups emerging as the top two out of seven, winning themselves $50,000 investments and gaining a great deal of knowledge and experience from the program, according to Ventureburn.
The two winning fintech startups were Kenya’s Olivine Technology, which developed a point of sale and stock management solution, and Nigeria’s Piggybank.ng, an app which enables users to reach their savings targets through a combination of discipline and flexibility.