6 African startups among World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers 2022 cohortRuth Torty 17th May 2022 0 COMMENTS
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has unveiled the list of 100 innovative tech startups for its 2022 Technology Pioneers cohort—with 6 African startups on the list.
The technology pioneers community aims to give next generation innovators a voice in solving global problems.
“By joining this community, Technology Pioneers begin a two-year journey where they are part of the World Economic Forum’s initiatives, activities and events, bringing their cutting-edge insight and fresh thinking to critical global discussions. Technology Pioneers are an integral part of the Forum’s Global Innovators community, which is an invitation-only group of the world’s most promising start-ups and scale-ups that are at the forefront of technological and business model innovation,” said a statement by WEF.
For the first time, more than one-third of the selected firms are led by women. This is noteworthy since there has been very little representation of females in leadership at tech companies—particularly as part of the founding team. In the United States of America—home to some of the largest tech companies in the world—only 14% of its startups have a female CEO, and only 28% have a woman on the founding team.
Furthermore, the Czech Republic, Rwanda and Viet Nam will be represented in the program for the first time.
About The African Startups
Okra: Okra is a Nigerian API/fintech startup that specializes in digitalising financial services across the continent. These Application Programming Interfaces, known as APIs, allow banks and fintechs to share and access customer financial information/data. Founded by Fara Ashiru Jituboh and David Peterside, the company has over 400 businesses building with its platform and over 20 integration options. Okra says it has analyzed over 20 million transactions already. Fara Ashiru Jituboh is also one of the few female co-founders and CEOs in Africa.
Access Afya: This Kenyan startup, founded by Melissa Menke, specializes in the provision of quality and affordable healthcare for the global mass market. Using technology, the healthtech startup leverages available “patient data to facilitate efficient diagnostic, operational and follow-up care pathways.” Access Afya runs 15 high-quality Primary Health Care clinics in Greater Nairobi, and has served over 300,000 people with a 97% patient recovery rate.
Sendy: This is another Kenyan startup selected in the cohort. It specializes in building Africa’s ecommerce fulfillment infrastructure for consumer brands. In other words, the company makes “trading in Africa easier and more beneficial to more people”. Sendy was founded by Mesh Alloys, alongside his co-founders, Malaika Judd, Evanston Biwott and Don Okoth. The E-logistics company has recorded a 92% fulfillment rate and worked with over 100,000 customers from e-commerce, retailers and consumer brands.
Pula Advisors: This Kenyan startup doubles as an insurance and technology company, designing innovative insurance and other digital products for farmers. The goal is to de-risk all agricultural investments and guarantee profit. Pula Advisors was co-founded by Thomas Njeru and Rose Goslinga. The agricultural insurance startup has worked with over 200,000 farmers, insured over $1.1 billion, with $39.1million claimed in premiums.
Ampersand: This Rwandan startup has been described as the leading battery-swap energy network for light vehicles. This is the first startup to offer electric motorcycles in Africa, to improve user experience and reduce the effects of climate change. Ampersand, founded by Josh Whale, has increased customers’ income by 50% per day and reduced CO2 emissions by 130 tonnes.
Ejara: This Cameroonian startup specializes in helping Africans at home and in the diaspora to invest in different forms of investments including equities, cryptos and commodities. Ejara was founded by Nelly Chatue Diop, Baptiste Andrieux and Tierno Tall. Ejara, previously raised $2 million to pioneer the usage of crypto and investment services in the region.
The WEF technology pioneers program has an alumni community of high profile tech organizations including Google, Spotify, Twitter, and Wikipedia.
Ruth Torty is a biochemist, and freelance science writer. She writes to shed light on health issues, rare diseases and science research in Nigeria. She is also a creative writer and has published on different literary sites including Spillwords and Nnoko Stories. She is passionate about genomics and its role in healthcare.