Five new startups have been accepted into the Venture Scale programme, which is an initiative of Founders Factory Africa (FFA), backed by Standard Bank and Netcare as corporate investors. The five startups were formally inducted into the Venture Scale programme on Monday, February 3, 2020.
All five startups have developed product offerings targeted at the fintech or healthtech sectors, and are set for an aggressive growth strategy, aided by the technical and operational expertise offered at FFA. The Venture Scale programme at FFA affords African startups the opportunity of rapid scale, made possible through a financial cash investment in tailored support services across product development, UX/UI, data science, engineering, business development and growth marketing.
Roo Rogers, co-founder/CEO of FFA, said: “The five businesses joining the Venture Scale programme represent some of the best of African entrepreneurship and innovation. From point-of-care DNA testing to agricultural logistics, the Founders Factory Africa portfolio has the potential to truly drive economic growth and transform the continent. We’re incredibly excited to be part of the growth of these businesses and to deliver their true scale potential.”
In addition to the hands-on support, participating startups will also have access to exclusive partnerships with FFA’s pan-African corporate investors, Standard Bank and Netcare, which unlocks many of the scaling challenges that businesses face. This includes distribution channels, customer acquisition, pilots, data, IP and expertise, essentially offering the startups a very huge advantage in the competitive marketplace.
Larry McCarthy, head of strategic investments and alliances at Standard Bank, says that he is excited to grow entrepreneurship across the continent. He stated that: “Seed capital and business development programmes like FFA are needed to meet the fast-paced demand for technology across all sectors of business, and the effect it can have on improving growth. Standard Bank, being an African business, is committed to participating in this vital element of the economy.”
Among the five startups joining the Venture Scale programme at FFA is Foodlocker, a Nigerian company. Foodlocker forecasts foodstuff demand through deep machine learning, thus enabling large-scale buyers to efficiently procure fast-moving consumer goods and fresh produce from smallholder farmers. Other startups in the programme are LocumBase, Akili Labs and EnvisionIt Deep AI, all from South Africa.