Building on the success of the 2018 and 2020 editions of CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa, the LHoFT Foundation is opening on Wednesday 19th of May, the third edition of this unique program of Fintech startup development. The program will close on the 27th of May with a final digital pitching event, opened to the public in front of a top-notch jury, investors and audience members. A very special guest, Mr. Kosta Peric, Deputy Director for the Financial Services for the Poor initiative at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will provide an opening talk.
Developed by the LHoFT Foundation, the program targets companies focused on financial inclusion in Africa, aiming to build bridges between Africa and Europe, highlighting their initiatives and very much aligned with the sustainability goals of Luxembourg’s finance centre. In keeping with the times, and with public health guidelines, this edition will be entirely digital.
CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign & European Affairs – Directorate for Development and Humanitarian Affairs, and supported by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion as well as key strategic partners such as ADA, InFine, University of Luxembourg, LuxFlag, Innpact, LuxAfrica, ACRC, MicroInsurance Network, KAP Innovation in Frontier Markets, LMDF, SPTF, UABA, UN University Center for Policy Research, the European Investment Bank and Compellio.
Focusing this year on investment readiness, the 14 ventures will be supported by investors operating in Africa such as Bamboo Partners, TLG Capital, ZedCrest Capital, Rising Tide Africa, Outlierz, Angaza Capital, Anza Capital, Baobab Group, Beyond Capital, Advans, CRE VC, DRK Foundation, AfricInvest, Triodos Capital, Sherpa Africa Partners, and others.
CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa will once again leverage Luxembourg’s Inclusive Finance and Fintech ecosystems, as well as LHoFT partners, to support the selected firms in developing their businesses and achieving their inclusion goals, creating synergies between them, partners, sponsors, investors, Microfinance institutions (MFI) and Public Financial Institutions (PFIs).
CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa will provide a tailor-made program with intensive mentoring, coaching, peer to peer learning and dedicated workshops for the selected Fintech startups. The program will include sessions on business model mapping, investment readiness, funding and capital raising, social impact, scaling strategy, building teams, operational management, and pitch development. The 2018 and 2020 Catapult Alumni will join the new cohort, delivering sessions and providing mentorship - leveraging their own experience from the ground.
Franz Fayot, Minister of the Economy and Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, stated: “Innovative Fintech solutions have the potential to lead to an improved accessibility of inclusive financial services, especially in isolated areas, and to reduce costs for clients of financial service providers. Digitalisation can at the same time simplify the access to knowledge, education, and the labour market, as well as improve communication. The Luxembourgish civil society and private sectors have developed a wide array of expertise in microfinance and in Fintech, which can, through Catapult, be put at the benefit of young fintech entrepreneurs in Africa.”
Nasir Zubairi, CEO of the LHoFT added: “It is very exciting to see such incredible firms engaging with the Catapult: Inclusion Africa programme. We are humbled to have received such strong interest to be part of the bootcamp from firms tackling the key issue of inclusion, and also to see the enthusiasm from the domestic and international ecosystem, including alumni of the bootcamp, to be part of this initiative and make a positive impact."
Join us on the 27th of May for the final digital pitching event, opened to the public in front of a top-notch jury, investors and audience members. Hear from Mr. Kosta Peric, Deputy Director for the Financial Services for the Poor initiative at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, about why this topic is so important.
You can register to the event HERE
The 14 Selected Fintech Startups:
• Emata (Kampala, Uganda - https://www.emata.ug): Emata is disrupting the $65bn agricultural financing opportunity in Africa. The company digitizes farmers’ cooperatives and gives farmers access to digital and affordable financial products.
• Moja Bank (Abidjan, Ivory Coast - https://mojawallet.com): We provide a digital payment App and a contactless card which is used by consumers to facilitate everyday payment in emerging markets. Consumers in the US use the App to manage their finances, and send money to their families back home.
• AWABAH (Lagos, Nigeria - https://www.awabahng.com): We provide access to retirement savings for Africa's unbanked and underbanked population. We are improving the customer experience when interacting with pensions by merging financial literacy with easy to use technology.
• Mosabi (Freetown, Sierra Leone - https://mosabi.co): Mosabi links fintech and edtech with embedded, gamified upskilling for Africa's financial products and platforms. This helps underserved citizens improve decisions and behaviours on their businesses and money. We harness data insights from user profiles and journeys, to match them to best fits across a marketplace of digital financial services.
• Mipango (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - https://mipangoapp.com): Mipango is a personal finance mobile application that enables users to manage their income, expenses, savings, financial targets, help and offerings. Mipango app uses artificial intelligence to guide users to better financial management and financial deals towards attaining financial freedom.
• Igugu Global (Lagos, Nigeria - https://igugu.global): Igugu Global is accelerating the flow of capital to Africa’s US$1.5 trillion sustainable infrastructure gap. We are solving the problem of fragmentation in financial markets by providing ESG mapping, structuring and due diligence for green building, transport and energy portfolios.
• Chromepay (Tel Aviv, Israel - https://www.chromepay.io): Chromepay provides merchants and vendors with an affordable way to run all financial aspects of their business without using a bank or POS system. Our platform allows each merchant to manage products and generate invoices embedded in a unique QR code that can be scanned by customers to instantly pay for goods and services.
• Nokwary Technologies (Accra, Ghana - https://nokwary.com): We are excited about the potential of AI in the financial space, and its capacity to promote financial inclusion. Voice User Interface systems, for instance, enable people who cannot see, as well as people who cannot read and write, to interact with banking apps and systems through spoken commands.
• Kotani Pay (Nairobi, Kenya - https://kotanipay.com): Kotani Pay is a technology stack that enables Blockchain protocols, dApps, and Blockchain FinTech companies to integrate seamlessly into local payment channels providing them with a reliable on-ramp and off-ramp service to reach a wider customer base in Africa.
• Juakali (Paris, France - https://www.juakali.io): At Juakali, we simplify financial institutions’ lives by eliminating paperwork & automating valueless tasks, so that employees can make the most of their time at work and companies boost their productivity.
• RePay.Africa (Nairobi, Kenya - https://www.repay.africa): RePay Africa's API driven platform serves as an electronic alternative to cash, cheques & banks for the un-banked Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa-wide payment & transfer platform that supports online money transfers and bill payments to merchants.
• Crop2Cash (Ibadan, Nigeria - https://www.crop2cash.com.ng): Banks and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) find agricultural financing risky, which has created a $330 billion funding gap in agriculture globally. With our tools, they can provide this finance with a high level of assurance that it would be efficiently used by the farmers.
• Asilimia France (Paris, France - https://asilimia.co.ke/home): Asilimia is an android application that allows informal traders in Africa to create a formal business account within their personal mobile money account. With Asilimia, all their future B2B transactions will be categorized as business transactions even though initiated from their personal mobile money account, saving 90% of their mobile money transaction fees.
• Vooli Insurtech (Nairobi, Kenya - https://vooli.net): Vooli is a client-centric, technology-driven, disruptive insurtech, that offers on-demand general insurance through its app and website. Vooli bills users based on the duration they need insurance e.g. annually or semi-annually, and also seamlessly.
Press release by LHoFT