GSMA Group has made the announcement about the benefactors of its Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund. The benefactors of the Innovation fund are nine startups, of which 7 are African startups – Prepclass inclusive.
GSMA is a group of network operators that make use of the GSM technology for their networks. The Innovation Fund was launched last year in a bid to providing most promising startups with mobile-focused mentoring, funding and a platform for growth.
Prepclass is an educational platform that allows students study and prepare for exams. Students and real tutors are linked on this platform. Prepclass was founded by two Nigerians and the platform is currently operational in Nigeria only.
Prepclass as well as other startups will benefit from the Innovation Fund in several rounds between 2016 to 2020; the rounds will each have unique areas of focus.
The first round of the Innovation Funds was open for application last year also. Numerous startups applied from the African continent and Asia. The first round focused on sharing economy and services for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
After a stringent process of analyzing the applications by experts on mobile technology and investment, Prepclass and the following startups from Africa were announced winners of the fund:
- Twiga Foods: A Kenyan startup that purchases farm produce from farmers and supplying the products to roadside vendors.
- Biscate : A startup from Mozambique that uses the USSD service and web to link workers such as carpenters, painters, etc. to customers.
- Kytabu: An educational app that enables the leasing of downloadable textbooks via the startup’s online library or a Kytabu tablet. The startup is operational in Kenya.
- Raye 7: An Egyptian carpooling solution startup.
- Safemotos: A Rwandan mobile-based platform involved in improving road safety.
- Optimetriks: Provides feedback and data for African companies through developing solutions for customers. Countries that have its services are Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
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All the winners –including the Asian startups- will be apportioned between £100,000 and £250,000 each from the total sum of £2 million. They’ll also receive technical assistance and mobile operators partners to help grow their startups into strong and impactful businesses.
”We are extremely excited to start working with these innovative entrepreneurs, in particular to help them explore synergies with mobile operators, and how to leverage mobile technology to its fullest to maximize socio-economic impact,” said Max Cuvellier, Head of GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator.