The second iteration of the Startup Wise Guys accelerator, which provides selected B2B SaaS firms with access to EUR65,000 (US$67,000) in funding and a rigorous five-month mentorship program, has chosen nine startups to participate.
Startup Wise Guys, an organization that was founded in Tallinn, Estonia in 2012, also oversees cybersecurity programs out of Cosenza and SaaS accelerator programs out of Milan. The business has worked with more than 500 founders thus far, invested in more than 235 startups, witnessed five exits, and has a general startup survival and success rate of more than 77%.
According to Disrupt Africa, the company entered Africa last year, holding its inaugural program in Namibia, and in March it announced the first close of Wise Guys Africa Fund I, a EUR8.5 million (US$9.3 million) fund.
It also revealed the startups chosen for its African B2B digital SaaS accelerator program’s first cohort, and the second cohort has since been chosen. The program, the first-ever B2B SaaS accelerator in Africa, attracted around 500 applications. Selected firms were eligible for EUR65,000 in funding for up to a 12% equity investment as well as a rigorous five-month accelerator program.
Additionally, they can be eligible for additional funding from Startup Wise Guys after the program, up to EUR250,000 (US$258,000). Investment is made in stages based on the program milestones that entrepreneurs must meet.
Four startups from Kenya are among the chosen companies: Hisa, an infrastructure for cross-border investing in Africa; Sortika, a financial planning tool that aims to democratize savings and investments; Naivera, an online financial marketplace that encourages investment in affordable income-generating assets for wealth creation; and Zemo Card, an all-in-one expense management solution for expanding companies in Africa.
Three more are from Nigeria: Bunce, an API for revenue management and optimization tools for African businesses, and ShipBubble, a platform that links companies to various shipping providers at discounted rates. DT2 Technologies is a core banking platform for microfinance banks and other financial institutions.
The other two startups are Tanzania’s Tunzaa Fintech, a save-now, pay-later marketplace, and Ghana’s Built Financial Technologies, a tool for African SMBs to access financial opportunities through a suite of business tools and financial services.
“The greatest exciting potential for digitalization exists in Africa. This region will see almost two-thirds of the anticipated increase in population between 2020 and 2050, according to program managing director Eliud Mungai. Due to the existence of Startup Wise Guys in Africa, we are able to recognize both the commercial potential of assisting businesses as well as their advantages for the continent. The portfolio startups in our Africa acceleration program will use fintech, health-tech, and retail-tech to support the continent’s expanding population and catalyze sustainable business growth to create jobs and prosperity.