The World Economic Forum (WEF) has announced the names of 100 tech startups selected for the 2022 Technology Pioneers cohort. These include six startups from four African countries- Nigeria (1), Kenya (3), Rwanda (1) and Cameroon (1). Cameroon and Rwanda joining the list for the first time this year.
The nominated startups were selected based on innovation, impact, leadership, and significance to the World Economic Forum’s goals.
The selected startups are developing solutions in their industries, such as climate change, food security, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and so on.
The 2022 cohort of Technology Pioneers is already bringing great changes to industries around the world. By joining this community these emerging tech leaders can continue to show not only the impressive tech advancements within their firms but also how their companies are helping to build a better future for us all.Saemoon Yoon, Technology Pioneers Community Lead, World Economic Forum.
Over the following two years, they will collaborate on WEF projects, events, workshops and activities to address global concerns. This year’s pioneers will join an outstanding cohort of alumni that includes top brands such as Airbnb, Google, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Spotify, TransferWise, Twitter, and Wikimedia.
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About WEF Pioneers’ listing
The WEF technology pioneer programme provides a venue for the Technology Pioneers Community to connect with public and commercial sector leaders, contribute new solutions to address the current crisis and help define the global agenda on crucial problems.
It includes a global network of early to growth-stage startups that have a substantial impact on business and society by designing, developing, and deploying innovative technologies and ideas.
Since its inception in 2000, the programme has had a number of large companies that were once participants. These include Airbnb, bluebird bio, Bloom Energy, Cyberdyne, Editas Medicine, Foundation Medicine, Google, Kaggle, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Palantir Technologies, Proteus Digital Health, Scribd, Spotify, Twitter, and Wikimedia.
This community has expanded to become a member of the Global Innovators Community of promising startup firms, as well as a member of the Network of Centres for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a community where members contribute to the development of new policies on current technology topics.
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Meet the selected startups
Okra was founded in 2020 by Fara Ashiru Jituboh and David Peterside. It was designed to provide digitised financial services throughout Africa while providing a single API for a variety of financial use cases across industries and enterprises.
The company has been described as Africa’s first API super-connector. According to the founders, the goal is to enable financial institutions to develop customised financial products/savings.
The fintech startup received its first pre-seed of $1 million in a fundraising round from TLcom Capital in 2020. In 2021, the startup also closed a $3.5 million seed round led by U.S.-based Susa Ventures, bringing its total funding to $4.5 million.
Access Afya is a Kenyan health tech startup that delivers quality low-cost healthcare cover for Kenya’s lower-income citizens.
While maintaining a chain of clinics, pharmacies, and mobile health facilities, the company uses technology to operate a model that uses the physical and digital infrastructure for its users.
Founded in 2012 by Melissa Menke, the startup is one of Kenya’s first completely licenced virtual clinics. In 2019, the organisation was recognised for providing the finest customer experience in Kenya.
Sendy is a Kenya-based freight delivery startup that specialises in creating simple infrastructure for African e-commerce and consumer brands. It was founded in 2015 by Evanson Biwott, Don Okoth, and American Malaika Judd. as a marketplace to provide a more efficient and economical way to deliver goods using technology.
The company employs an asset-free strategy, with an app that manages contract drivers who own their own vehicles, while also confirming deliveries, developing performance metrics, and managing payment.
In 2020, the Kenyan startup raised a $20 million Series B led by Atlantica Ventures and Toyota Corporation.
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Pula Advisors is a Kenyan Agritech startup and insurance company that specialises in building and providing innovative agricultural insurance and digital solutions to small and medium-sized farmers in order to assist ensure high earnings and improved farming methods.
The startup was launched in 2015 by Rose Goslinga and Thomas Njeru. In 2021, Pula raised $6 million in a Series A seed funding round led by TLcom Capital.
Ampersand is the first and most advanced integrated electric motorcycle and transportation energy solution in Africa. The Rwanda-based company has been branded the leading battery-swap energy network for light automobiles.
Founded by Josh Whale, Ampersand has executed over 50,000 battery swaps since its inception in 2019. The startup designs and finances electric motorcycles that are more inexpensive and efficient in East Africa.
Ejara is a Cameroonian fintech that offers low-cost investing choices such as fractional shares, cryptos, commodities etc.
The startup was launched in 2020 by Nelly Chatue-Diop, and over 8,000 customers have transacted in cryptocurrencies on the platform since its inception.
The business raised $2 million in 2021 to pioneer the use of cryptocurrency and investing services in the region.
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