WASHINGTON, D.C., USA, 2 December 2022 /African Media Agency (AMA)/-14 African startups took to the stage to pitch to a panel of judges and attendees at the recently concluded Africa Fintech Summit in Cape Town, South Africa. Ethiopia’s Chapa, an online payment gateway enabling merchants to accept local and international payments, clinched first place, while Periculum, an enterprise data analytic software provider and SmartWage, a WhatsApp-based HR and communication platform for remote workers, finished second and third, respectively.
From November 2-4, the Africa Fintech Summit gathered over 700 fintech stakeholders from across Africa and the globe for various ecosystem-building engagements ranging from panel discussions and workshops to startup exhibitions and ecosystem tours. Among those engagements was the 5th Alpha Expo Pitch Competition which concluded the three-day summit.
The AlphaExpo micro-accelerator is a sector-agnostic program that enables early-stage startups from across Africa to pitch on the Africa Fintech Summit Stage, demo their products to a wide variety of stakeholders, meet an extensive network of prospective investors, partners, and customers, and also increase their chances of being accepted to top accelerator programs!
The Alpha Expo Micro Accelerator Program has held up its objective as an ecosystem growth initiative by connecting early-stage founders with growth opportunities for scale.
Alumni of the AlphaExpo program have raised over $200M since participating and include industry leaders such as MarketForce, Yellow Card App, Asaak, Piggyvest, ArifPay, Payhippo, and many others.
With the goal of layering on the accelerator’s impact so far, organizers of the Africa Fintech Summit fielded hundreds of applications and finally chose the 14 startups that pitched in Cape Town.
Joining the top three comprising Chapa, Periculum and SmartWage were MaishaPay, MooveBeta, PrimeNet, Pigibank, Dukapaq, e-fiat, Upstream, XR Global, ENTR Technologies, Fanogroup_Namibia, and Sava.
The startups took the stage to tell a compelling story about the solution their company was building and why it mattered before judges and delegates at the summit.
The panel of judges included active investors, startup founders and executives at leading companies;
· Kayode Nubi; Startup Programs Lead at Paystack,
· Nivesh Pather; Investment Manager at Norrsken,
· Hector Bartlett; Co-Founder & Managing Partner at One Day Yes VC,
· Philani Mzila, Investment Manager – Africa at Founders Factory Africa/ Standard Bank.
Our team of judges scored each pitch based on pre-established criteria and delivered the verdict that saw Chapa slightly edge a tightly contested competition followed by Periculum and SmartWage as second and third runners
Beyond the invaluable feedback delivered by the judges which would help the startups better pitch their value going forward, all the participants scored top prizes. Chapa as winner will;
· Join finalists of the 2022 Ecobank Fintech Challenge in a bootcamp valued at $10,000,
· Secure product credit worth $25,000 by AWS
· Access Guaranteed membership in the Fintech Association of South Africa, valued at $2750.
· Get a Cash prize of $3000 sponsored by UQDO,
· Secure $5000 hiring credits from TalentintheCloud to help recruit new hires.
· Get a package of 3 Pan-African press releases and media training for company spokesperson(s) valued at $11,000 from African Media Agency (AMA)
· Return tickets to Washington D.C. for the 9th Africa Fintech Summit on April 20, 2023 sponsored by Africa Fintech Summit.
AWS also awarded the 2nd and 3rd runners $10,000 and $5,000 product credit package, respectively.
All the participating startups get;
· A marketing, pitch deck and fundraising strategy review sponsored by Dedalus Global,
· 1000 credits toward KYC digital onboarding sponsored by UQDO.
· $1,000 product credit from AWS.
· Mentoring and coaching sponsored by Paystack and FINASA’s Co-Founder & #aiMOM Lavina Ramkissoon.
· A fundraising & investor readiness strategy masterclass by Ibex Frontier.
On the value of the competition, Nael Hailemariam, Chapa co-founder and CEO, noted “Chapa is established to empower local businesses in East Africa to thrive in the global economy. We are happy to win the Alpha Cohort pitch contest at Africa Fintech Summit with this mission.
Payment is about partnerships. Let’s partner and make Africa thrive!”
Djiba Diallo, Senior Fintech Advisor at EcoBank said “ We are very happy to welcome Chappa as one of our Ecobank Fintech challenge bootcamp for 2022. As a Pan-African Bank fostering Bank-Fintech collaboration and innovation, Ecobank has so far incubated a significant number of Fintechs in our flagship Fintech Challenge and Chapa will be getting access to our Pan African Sandbox and innovation platform to scale up across Africa, Service Provider Partnerships, Access To Partner Networks, and Integrations With Existing Ecobank Digital Offerings. We look forward to collaborating with Africa Fintech Summit in upcoming Alpha Expo efforts so our Ecobank Challenge collaboration adds synergy to the continent”.
Lavina Ramkissoon, FINASA Co-Founder & Master of Ceremony for the Pitch Competition said “On behalf of the panel of judges and myself, I would like to congratulate all pitching startups for their innovations that are resolving real African problems and the future of the continent is in these problem solvers and innovators. We look forward to watching these startups soaring and scaling up in the months and years to come”
Zekarias Amsalu, Co-Founder of Africa Fintech Summit said “ Alpha Expo mini accelerator and pitch competition is our flagship initiative that has brought visibility, access and opportunity to 60+ early stage startups over the last 4 years, some of these are now scaled-up problem solvers and we are very pleased to see new additional innovators in Cape Town. We thank the panel of judges whose expertise and foresight was instrumental in startup feedback as well as identifying winners. We look forward to supporting all cohorts with all our ecosystem partners. Congratulations to all pitching startups!”
Distributed by African Media Agencyin partnership with Africa Fintech Summit
About Africa Fintech Summit
AFTS (https://africafintechsummit.com) is the premier global initiative dedicated to the African fintech ecosystem. AFTS is traditionally hosted in Washington, D.C., each April during the World Bank/IFC annual meeting week and in a different African city each November (most recently Lagos, Addis Ababa, Cairo & Cape Town).
Supported by an advisory board of thought leaders and fintech pioneers, AFTS is a unique space where innovative ideas are debated, investments mobilized, partnership deals signed, and collaborations formed across sectors and geographies. AFTS is organized in partnership between Washington, D.C. based firms, strategic advisory group, Dedalus Global, and Pan-African consultancy advisory firm, Ibex Frontier.
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