25 African fintech startups have been selected by Amazon Web Services for the maiden edition of the AWS FinTech Africa Accelerator cohort. The bulk of the 25 startups selected are from Nigeria as it dominates the list with eleven companies from the West African Nation selected for the cohort.
Chumz, hela.money, Kiotapay, and Mauzo are all from Kenya. Asaana Pay, Edanra, Exxtra, and H28 Technologies are four more Ghanaian companies. Uganda’s eMaisha Pay and Xazu Technologies, as well as South Africa’s Abela iMali and Moya Money, are among the participants. Dreamcash, a Cameroonian firm, and MazAid, an Egyptian startup, are also part of the batch.
Although all of the selected firms are fintech, their value propositions and verticals are broad, including finance and lending for MSME’s, cryptocurrency transactions, global remittance products, freelancer payment & invoicing management, and export and import management.
“FinTech is critical for Africa’s economic growth, so programs like this provide the expert training and support that early-stage FinTech companies require to scale to the next level and boost the continent’s digital economy,” said Barbara Iyayi, the Founding Director of the Africa FinTech Center.
Fintech continues to be the most well-funded sector in the African digital ecosystem. According to BD Funding Tracker, the sector received 36.11% of the continent’s venture capital inflows last year.
Although Amazon will not take stock or venture financing in the companies, it has announced that it will provide the participating startups with approximately $25,000 in AWS services, as well as other free credits on Hubspot, Notion, and Loom, among others.
“We know of over 90% of startups that built their Minimum Viable Product (MVP) on AWS.” businesses like Compute and Amazon SageMaker, among others, assist companies in building fast-scaling businesses that venture capitalists like us love to back. “As part of the program, we are excited to provide our expertise to young startups,” says Adedeji Olowe, Founder & CEO of Lendsqr and Trustee with Open Banking Nigeria.
This accelerator, which will be inaugurated in March 2023, underscores Amazon’s sustained involvement in Africa’s digital ecosystem, which it first entered in 2004. The company operates three data centers in Africa, two in South Africa and one in Kenya.
Amazon built an office in Lagos, Nigeria, last year, five years after opening its first African headquarters in Johannesburg. The Lagos office buildings hosts AWS account managers, partner managers, solution architects, and other roles that serve the company’s Nigerian customers are housed here.”
AWS is having a huge impact on the global startup ecosystem.” Its secure and adaptable cloud architecture enables companies to focus on building unique products in order to get VC financing, which is a critical need for them,” Olowe remarked.