Barclays Accelerator completes its first-ever African program

Updated on 4 July 2016

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Ten fintech companies conclude first-ever Barclays Accelerator, powered by Tech stars in Africa. After 13 weeks of intensive networking, mentoring and development, 10 companies have showcased their innovative fintech businesses at a ‘Demo Day’ in Cape Town, as the first-ever cohort of the Barclays Accelerator in Africa concluded. The three month fintech accelerator program was hosted by Rise, Barclays Africa’s open innovation hub, in Cape Town.

The 10 startups are: Inuka Pap (from Kenya), BimaAfya (Tanzania), Social Lender (Nigeria), Beyonic (US, focused on Uganda and Kenya as its initial markets), tech4farmers (Uganda), Asoriba (Ghana), Reable (Lebanon), BenBen (US, focused on Ghana and a co-founder originally from Ghana), WizzPass (South Africa) and Simba Pay (UK/Kenya with Kenyan founders and focused on Kenya and Uganda).

The Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is an intensive startup programme designed to capture, shape and scale the next generation of innovative fintech businesses. The programme draws upon mentors from across Barclays and the Techstars network.

An audience of more than 400 including investors, industry experts, fintech specialists, as well as Absa and Barclays executives attended the Demo Day to hear how the startups are tackling different challenges on the African continent and ultimately help shape the future of financial services across insurance, payments and agriculture.

Commenting on the programme, Head of Open Innovation at Barclays Africa, Paul Nel said: “As Barclays Africa we are committed to driving leading fintech innovation that translates into lifestyle-enabling products and services for our customers, and creates greater financial inclusion across the continent.”

“We are thrilled with the quality of the ventures.  This first-ever cohort to participate in the Barclays Accelerator programme in Africa has set the bar very high. They richly deserve the opportunity to showcase their businesses at the Demo Day, and attempt to secure further investment and signed POCs.”

Nigeria has the largest number of mobile shoppers in Africa
According to the research conducted in Nigeria by Ipsos, a global market research company, on behalf of PayPal, Nigeria has the largest number of mobile shoppers on the African continent, and is also the third largest mobile commerce market in terms of the incidence of mobile shoppers amongst the countries that participated in the research. With 72% of online consumers shopping on a smartphone in Nigeria, the country follows China (86%) and India (82%) in terms of incidence of shopping via smartphone. The global average across the 29 surveyed markets is 47%.

A large majority of consumers pick smartphones to shop online both when shopping cross-border and locally in Nigeria. In terms of the value of this spend, consumers estimate that mobile shopping accounts for 38% of their total online spend, and 36% of cross-border purchases.

According to the forecasts, this trend is likely to continue: the survey predicts that mobile spend will increase by 39% to N78.3 billion in 2016, and by 31% to N102.2 billion by the end of the following year, from N56.2 billion in 2015.

The healthy growth rate forecast in 2016 tops out both China (38%) and UAE (35%). “Nigerian online shoppers have realised that the world is their shopping mall when it comes to buying what they need and want. They are no longer limited to what they can buy domestically, and are confidently scouring the globe for great deals, more choice, high quality and premier brands,” said PayPal’s general manager Africa and Israel, Efi Dahan. “And, they are doing so wherever and whenever they want to, using their mobile devices as an essential shopping tool.” (Bizcommunity)

IDWork selected Seedstars’ best startup in South Africa
​IDWork, a C2C platform that connects technically skilled informal workers (like tilers) to clients, was selected the best startup in South Africa for its creative solution to the social issue of unemployment. “I became an entrepreneur mostly because I felt there was a difference I could make, I wanted to learn and also make an impact, and also do stuff that I really enjoyed with my co-founders. I also thought that entrepreneurship through the use of technology was the way to do it,” explains Sayo Folawiyo, CEO of IDWork.

Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes brought its South Africa country wide competition to a successful close during Seedstars Grand Final after hosting pre-selections in Cape Town, Durban and Soweto (Gauteng).

The winning startup, that entered the competition as a wildcard entry, will be participating at Seedstars Summit, taking place in Switzerland in March 2017. During the weeklong training program the winning startup will have the opportunity to meet the other +65 winners, as well as investors and mentors from around the world. Traditionally, the final day of the Summit will be dedicated to pitching in front of audience of 1000 attendees, with the possibility of winning up to the USD 500.00 million equity investment and a USD 1 million in additional prizes.

Sortd, which offers a service that organises your email and creates a to-do list came second and Wumdrop, which allows anything to be delivered at the click of a button, grabbed the last spot in the top 3. The other startups invited to pitch were Crew Pencil, Pargo, Guardian Angel Safety Solution, You, Baby and I, Vitls, UmoyAir Communications, and Riovic.

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