InnotribeInnotribe, Swift’s innovation arm, has named the ten firms who will compete in its Start-up Challenge Africa.

The start-ups will pitch their products in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on 17 May 2017 during Swift’s African Regional Conference.

Innotribe evaluated close to 100 applications received for the third edition of the Startup Challenge in Africa. The applications came from 16 countries, with South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya dominating the list.

Fabian Vandenreydt, global head of securities markets, Innotribe and the Swift Institute at Swift, says the firms’ “calibre continues to impress” and “there is no doubt they are going to play an important role in shaping the future of finance”.

The ten firms, with country of origin, are:

  • FinChatBot – offers instant messaging. South Africa;
  • FINT – Peer-to-peer lending platform. Nigeria;
  • Inclusiveft – identity verification API. Ghana;
  • IroFit Technologies – offers small businesses processing for in-store mobile/ card payments (“even when there’s no internet connection”). Nigeria;
  • Mobbisurance – offers emerging farmers crop insurance . South Africa;
  • Ovamba – funding for African SMEs. Cameroon;
  • Releaf – offers investing in Africa for foreign investors, via big data analytics. Nigeria;
  • Sokowatch – last-mile ordering and distribution network for small African shops. Kenya;
  • ThisIsMe – proprietary identification technology for transactions. South Africa;
  • Vugapay – a mobile wallet which can be topped up from Bitcoin, mobile money, debit and credit cards and bank accounts. Rwanda.

As a part of the programme, each company will receive complimentary coaching sessions with entrepreneurs who will give them advice ahead of the formal pitches taking place on 17 May. These sessions will take place in Abidjan, in group and individually for more feedback.

After the pitches, the audience will vote for the three best start-ups, who will be invited to Sibos in Toronto. The three finalists will have the opportunity to share the stage with experts and receive a $10,000 cash prize each.

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