Fintech startup Akiba has won the Uganda round of Seedstars World, and will represent the country at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland to compete for up to US$1 million in equity investment.
The Uganda round of Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startups, was held this past Friday at Outbox Hub, and 11 selected startups were invited to present their ideas in front of the local jury panel.
Akiba aims to transform finance by making it easier for people to manage their finances in a practical and transparent way. “We started this company because my mom was having difficulties trying to make a difference in her community", Ivan Mworozi explained during the pitch. "We are very happy to see that this has transformed into a business,”.
Second place went to DusuPay, a platform that aims to streamline how African businesses are paid online, and Panya, a business that leverages chatbot technology to enable local firms to market and transact products and services directly within Facebook Messenger, took the last spot in the top three.
As a part of the prize, Akiba will participate in the global Seedstars Summit in Switzerland in April 2017. The Summit is a weeklong training programme for the 60 winners of local Seedstar events, as well as investors and mentors from around the world. The final day of the Summit will be dedicated to pitching in front of audience of 1000 attendees, and the winning pitch will get up to the US$1 million equity investment.
The other startups that pitched were Aloyo Electronics, Soundbooklet, DusuPay, E-Savings Club Uganda, MamboPay, GarageMobi, Solar Freedom Africa, Xeno Technologies, Panya, Kwiksy and Kazzi Corp Technology.
“Stanbic is pleased to be the lead partner in this amazing initiative. We are very excited that Akiba will represent Uganda in Geneva in 2017. They have the potential to not only win at the finals but also to become key players in the national and international marketplace", Wayne Cook, Head of Business Banking at Stanbic Bank said during the event. "We are committed to nurturing young businesses like this and supporting the growth of startup companies because we recognise the vital role they play in the transformation of the economy. As Stanbic Bank, we shall continue to support the development of small businesses that bring innovation that can change our communities.”
"Our collaboration with seedstars has gone beyond just putting Ugandan startups on the global
stage. The relationships built from the network and exposure from seedstars is one of the best
benefits I did not foresee. This has placed us in a unique position within the local market to
extend these relations beyond seedstars participants to the general local ecosystem.” says
Richard Zulu, co-founder at Outbox Hub.
The 11 startups pitched in front of a prestigious jury, including:
- Wayne Cook - Head of business Banking at Stanbic Bank
- Ham Namakajjo - Co-founder at FEZAH
- James Makumbi - Owner / Software Developer at Billable Ltd,
- Patricia Russ - Associate Programme Adviser at UN WTO | International Trade Center,
- Angela Kerubo, Senior Analyst at Open Capital Advisors,
- Selam Kebede Associate for Africa at Seedstars World.
SeedstarsKampala also featured speaker and last year's winners, Bonny Madrawi and Nielsimms Sangho, co-founders of InterShip Uganda.
Continuing on its world tour of startup scenes in emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, Seedstars World’s next stop is Nairobi's PAWA254, where Kenya's best startup will be selected.
Seedstars World is looking for smart startups that solve regional issues while developing profitable products for the global market.
Seedstars World has partnered with TRECC to bring the “Transforming Education Prize” which will award the best startup in the education space with a prize of over USD 50,000. Along with PayU, Seedstars World is also looking for the best fintech startup,
which will be awarded the “FinTech Prize” at the Seedstars Summit.