7 African Startups Selected for Inaugural Last Mile Money Accelerator
Seven African startups have been selected to take part in the inaugural cohort of the Last Mile Money Accelerator, a four-month program managed by IDEO and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Last Mile Money Accelerator aims to boost local Fintech startups with grant capital, world-class design support from IDEO and IDEO.org, and connect them to ecosystem partners.
A total of 250 applications were received for the acceleration program and the organizers have now selected seven African startups among the eight selected startups to join the Last Mile Money Accelerator program.
The selected startups include:
Kenyan PesaKit- the last mile agent network platform that is accelerating digital commerce and financial inclusion.
Kenyan Tanda- a building an ecosystem to enable people to digitally send, receive money, and access essential financial services.
Tanzania’s Kuunda- a B2B fintech company that has built growth APIs and a liquidity platform for micro-merchants and agent networks.
Egypt’s Khazna- a Fintech startup providing underbanked Egyptians with a free prepaid debit card, earned wage access, buy-now-pay-later, bill payment, and peer transfers all in-app.
Sudan’s Alsoug.com- a classifieds platform that is launching a new fintech platform to support financial inclusion.
Ghana’s Boost- which makes it easy for informal retailers to get and sell more of what their customers want.
Burkina Faso’s DuniaPay- a banking app powered by crypto that allows users to save, spend, invest and transfer money.
Dave Kim, program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation speaking said that there was a need for an innovative space to support world-class entrepreneurs.
“Cash-in cash-out agents play a critical role in bringing the promise of the digital economy closer to those who need it the most, yet the current models we see today often fall short of delivering on that promise, especially to those in rural areas in emerging markets.
“There’s a clear need for more innovation in this space, and that’s why we’re excited to support this cohort of world-class entrepreneurs operating across more than 10 countries,” said Dave Kim, program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,” said Kim.
With the rise of digital financial services accelerating, the risks of exclusion are growing for those without access to the digital economy, and thus the focus of the program is on increasing the reach and quality of cash-in/cash-out locations where people can convert cash to digital money and vice versa.