Now in its 11th year investing in tech entrepreneurs in Africa, MEST Africa announced a funding round of US$1,1m in startups formed from its recently graduated 2019 training program cohort.
Out of 13 teams, composed of 51 entrepreneurs hailing from The Gambia, Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania, Cameroon, Mali, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, and Zimbabwe, MEST will invest $100,000 in each of eleven companies who will join MEST Incubators in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.
MEST Africa’s 11th cohort has been its most Pan-African, and the $1.1m investment is the largest single investment MEST has made in one of its cohorts to date. The investment also includes the first startup from the MEST training program planning its market entry in South Africa.
“We are incredibly impressed by the eleven teams we are investing in today, each consisting of a diverse set of Pan-African co-founders,” says Ashwin Ravichandran, managing director at MEST.
This will be the first year the newly funded startups from MEST all together, will be launching in each of our incubators across the continent - in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. Also this year, we are elated to have the first-ever MEST company that will launch in South Africa. The locations of our incubators will allow the companies to position themselves in the best possible market for their entry, and in the future, they will aid them in scaling and expanding across Pan-Africa.”
The companies who received funding include:
MEST entrepreneurs have developed solutions addressing local and global markets, received outside follow-on funding from global investors, and have gained admittance to top accelerator programs such as MIT Bootcamp, Y-Combinator, 500 Startups and TechStars.
MEST entrepreneurs have also been selected by President Obama as representatives of the African
business community at the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington DC; have been named Mandela Washington Fellows, a flagship program of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI); and have been selected for Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Africa.