Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing division for the world’s largest e-commerce retailer, Amazon, continues to strengthen its footprint in Africa with a call-for-applications from early-stage startups to join their inaugural edition of the AWS FinTech Africa Accelerator.
This program is hosted by AWS’ globally-recognized Startup Loft Accelerator, but unlike other cohorts, this edition will focus on fintech and fintech-adjacent startups operating in Africa. In 2022, fintech startups in Africa raised over $2B USD in venture funding, sustaining Africa’s fintech industry as the top recipient of venture funding on the continent for the past several years (according to Briter Bridges).
The US-headquartered cloud service provider (CSP) has had a long-history of operations in Africa with its first office on the continent opening in 2004 when it opened a development center in South Africa. Since then, AWS has opened several offices and data centers as the company intends on being the predominant cloud service provider in Africa.
The company announced its Africa region back in 2018 and launched its operations two years later in 2020. The AWS Africa Region is headquartered in Cape Town. AWS Regions operate through a series of Availability Zones, where a center is located in each zone and geographically separated enough that an issue at one center will not have an impact on the AWS system or its clients. The Africa region is currently served by three AWS data centers with two of which in South Africa and the third in Nairobi, Kenya.
AWS has plans to develop further across Africa to best service the needs of the continent’s rapidly expanding industry and data storage needs.
The AWS FinTech Africa Accelerator is an equity-free program designed to work directly with CEO’s and CTO’s in enabling them with a wide variety of resources including strategy, tech team management, product development, and helping founders prepare for navigating the complexities of fundraising.
Participating startups will join AWS’ Activate program which will provide founders with up to $25K USD in Activate Credits, in addition to a many other services. Founders will also take part in a series of industry expert-led workshops and one-on-one sessions designed to address the specific challenges and opportunities each startup faces.
Applications open from now until April 27, 2023. All pre-seed and seed stage fintech startups operating in Africa are encouraged to apply.