MEST to invest a total of $700k in these 7 African startups

Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology - MEST - has announced seven startups that will receive $700,000 in total funding according to Forbes. This investment will coincide with its 10th anniversary.

MEST's 2018 cohort has 7 startups from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, and Zimbabwe. These have graduated from its year-long training program and each will receive $100,000.

The seven startups, as described by Aaron Fu, MD of MEST, to Forbes, are:

  • ShareHouse; kicking off in Kenya, is on a path towards being the Airbnb for warehouses. Their founders are driven by a mission to democratize and bring efficiency to warehouses that have been out of reasonable reach for many SMEs.
  • Nvoicia which is launching almost simultaneously in Lagos and Accra will use machine learning to unlock liquidity for SMEs via accessible and consistently assessed invoice discounting.
  • Truckr has a founding team obsessed with ground logistics. They've spent the last few months in cross-country trucks, parked trucks, with trucking unions, in the ports, and in warehouses. Now armed with these insights are bringing efficiencies to an industry with so much spare capacity in Africa, utilizing robust and affordable software and hardware tailored for the land freight ecosystem in Africa.
  • Jumeni from Ghana is starting with waste management as a cornerstone sector but has already seen incredible interest from all forms of businesses requiring remote workforce management.
  • Judy in Nigeria is using AI to empower lawyers in Africa. It's just weeks into launch and has already secured a customer in one of the continent's largest law firms. But beyond Africa, I'm thrilled at how there is strong applicability for their solution through all common law jurisdictions globally.
  • CodeIn solves a problem everyone in the tech industry in Africa is keenly aware of: efficiently and consistently testing and hiring software developers, by providing an end-to-end testing and hiring platform, CodeIn hopes to unlock work opportunities for freelance software developers in Africa and the world.
  • Bace brings cutting-edge facial recognition technology to bear on the problem of identity and KYC in Africa, beginning with financial institutions that have some of the strictest KYC requirements of any industry, the founding team hopes to scale this and provide identity verification universally on the continent.

Launched in 2008, MEST is among the earliest incubators to have launched across Africa.

In September last year, they hired Aaron Fu from Nest Africa to take over as its managing director. They followed this with opening other incubators in Cape Town and Lagos. Though they are still headquartered in Accra, Ghana.

Founded by Jorn Lyseggen, who still serves as the CEO, MEST has made at least 35 investments, 8 of which they have been the lead investor. The 8 are; Kudobuzz, ClaimSync, Asoriba, Dropifi, Mpawa, AdsBrook, and Saya. Most of the incubators investments are at the seed stage.

To date, MEST has also been able to score at least 4 exits. Some of which have been acquisitions among their portfolio companies. For example, Kudobuzz acquired RetailTower, another MEST portfolio startup.

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