Now in its 10th year investing in tech entrepreneurs in Africa, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) today announced a funding round of USD $700,000 in startups formed from its recently graduated 2018 training program cohort. Out of 17 teams, composed of 58 entrepreneurs hailing from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire and Zimbabwe, MEST will invest $100,000 in each of seven companies who will join MEST Incubators in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya.
The startups range from a fintech platforms for small business, an on-demand storage marketplace, a cargo booking platform and a technical recruitment service for programmers.
The companies who received funding include:
- Sharehouse, a marketplace for on demand storage space, launching in Kenya
- Nvoicia, a fintech platform for SMEs that enables financial liquidity via invoice discounting, launching in Nigeria
- Truckr, a truck and cargo booking and monitoring platform, launching in Ghana
- Jumeni, a field management and payments collection platform, launching in Ghana
- Judy, an AI-driven search engine for Commonwealth Case Law, launching in Nigeria
- Codeln, an end-to-end technical recruitment platform, launching in Ghana
- Bace, a client onboarding application for financial institutions that secures KYC data via OCR and facial recognition technology, launching in Ghana
This year’s funded startups will join MEST Africa’s existing portfolio of 36 companies across Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, and the graduates will join nearly 300 alumni across the continent.
Since its inception in 2008, the Meltwater Foundation has invested $20 million into MEST, supporting aspiring African entrepreneurs through the training program and incubator. Now in its 10t h year, over 50 tech companies have been launched via seed funding and mentorship. Four companies — Claimsync, AdGeek, RetailTower and Saya — have been acquired.
MEST entrepreneurs have developed solutions addressing local and global markets, received outside follow-on funding from global investors, and have gained admittance to top accelerator programs such as Y-Combinator, 500 Startups and TechStars.