Founders Factory Africa, Standard Bank invest in first five fintech startups

Founders Factory Africa (FFA) has today announced the selection and investment into their first five fintech startup businesses in Africa. According to the press release, the accelerator - together with Standard Bank - will be looking to scale these five startups across the continent.

FFA is a South African company operating across Africa delivering a corporate-backed accelerator and incubator. The accelerator is planning to build and scale 140 tech-based startups across four sectors over the next five years.

In October 2018, Standard Bank became the first investor into Founders Factory Africa, with fintech as its strategic sector. Within the first few months of its launch, Founders Factory Africa received over 500 applications from leading fintech entrepreneurs across the continent.

After a rigorous screening and selection process, five businesses from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda were selected. The five businesses are:

  • Schoolable (Nigeria) is a school financing solution that collects money from parents and provides it to schools, with the ambition of providing credit to both parties in the future. Currently, the company has launched its SaaS platform and is building the technology that leverages the data created by schools and their interactions with stakeholders.
  • LipaLater (Kenya) is a lending marketplace for individuals for high-end goods. It provides individuals with great credit terms through a seamless digital platform at the point of purchase or online and allows them to redeem the goods in store.
  • Eazyhire (Nigeria) is a peer to peer leasing platform with a presence in Nigeria and Kenya. The company has a technology-enabled platform that enables leasing solutions for the building and heavy machinery industries.
  • Kudigo (Ghana) is a software as a service (SaaS) startup developing user-oriented retail solutions and big data for the consumer retail industry in sub-Saharan Africa. The company also offers “Storefront,” a mobile-based business management suite including a retail management suite, accounting module, non-cash payment processing and AI-powered data analytics.
  • Digest Africa (Uganda) is a single online platform where investors and corporates can access verified, tailored and real-time news about Africa’s early-stage technology companies. The news is fact-checked and up-to-date and includes analysis that is easy to consume and understand to guide profitable decision making.

Founders Factory Africa and Standard Bank have invested in these businesses and have committed to scaling them through a bespoke six-month acceleration that includes tailored support from a specialist team including product design, tech engineering, data science, growth marketing, investment, to name a few.

Participating startups will also have access to global capital, talent and knowledge transfer through the Founders network that includes world-class entrepreneurs, investors, corporates and successful startups across Africa, Europe, the UK and the US.

Roo Rogers, the CEO, Founders Factory Africa, said:

“Digest Africa, LipaLater, Kudigo, Allpro, and EazyHire all represent the best of African leadership and innovation. Our investment and focus on growing pan-African products and market solutions will enable these exceptional entrepreneurs to address the needs of millions of people and deliver scaled financial and impact returns across the continent. Together with our multi-national corporate investors, we are excited to support these businesses on their pathway to scale.”

Standard Bank brings its significant African footprint, customer distribution networks and deep expertise that will help scale the selected businesses. The “unfair competitive advantage” of each FFA corporate investor, combined with the operational and expert FFA team, turbocharges the rapid growth of startups substantially growing their revenue and presence.

Darren Segal, Executive and Head of Moonshots at Standard Bank said:

“These businesses are just the start of an exciting journey working with Founders Factory Africa. We see huge potential to grow these businesses and create jobs. Through our partnership, there is also a unique opportunity to catalyze the start-up culture and early-stage investment into these ventures in Africa.”

Founders Factory Africa will create and scale businesses that solve mass needs across the continent. It will unlock major opportunities for start-ups by attracting local and foreign investment, creating jobs and boosting entrepreneurship across Africa.

Founders Factory Africa Accelerator is an operational team of local and global specialists, a tailored and comprehensive six-month program, corporate infrastructure and business opportunities, access to a local and global venture and investment network and the wider Founders Family and ecosystem. This includes $40,000 cash and $280,000 in services.  

The accelerator is a part of the wider Founders Factory family which refers to itself as " the world’s best partner for founders." To date, it has backed and built over 90 companies and will reach over 200 within five years.

Founders Factory has also secured over £120m in further capital for its startups and over 100 pilots for those companies with its corporate partners. Crucially over 30% of those pilots have led to enterprise contracts and a further five to direct investments.

Started by Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox, Founders Factory has received investment from Marks & Spencer, L’Oreal, easyJet, Guardian Media Group, Aviva, Holtzbrinck and CSC.  Founders Factory was voted the Hottest Startup Accelerator at The Europas 2018.

On the other hand, Standard Bank Group is the continent's leading banking group by assets "with a unique footprint across 20 African countries". Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, it is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with share code SBK, and the Namibian Stock Exchange, share code SNB.

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