TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Africa just finished in Lagos, Nigeria, where 15 companies took the stage for the chance of winning the $25,000 equity-free grand prize, a trip for two to TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2019 and the coveted title of “Africa’s Favorite Startup.”
The winner of the event was M-SCAN from Uganda, which develops portable mobile ultrasound devices (Ultrasonic probes) that are laptop, tablet and mobile phone compatible. The judges were impressed with its scalability potential to make many other medical access devices affordable for Africa, where mother and infant mortality is unforgivably high.
The runner-up was Bettr, a virtual banking experience powered by your smartphone and your data. Bettr has the potential to make banking way more accessible for millions of people currently unbanked across Southern Africa.
The other startups pitching, chosen from literally hundreds of entries, were:
Apollo Agriculture: Leverages advances in machine learning, remote imaging via satellite and mobile money to deliver input finance and agronomic advice to smallholder farmers with radical efficiency and scalability.
Sudpay: Developed an integrated, multi-support, multi-service and multi-operator digital tax collection platform that connects merchants to financial institutions.
LabTech: UriSAF by LabTECH is a urine testing hardware and software solution designed to speed up the diagnosis of Uterine Tract Infections (UTIs).
Complete Farmer: A “crowdfarming” platform that enables users to invest in sustainable farms and monitor farming activities without discarding their daily routine using data-driven cultivation protocols and IoT-enabled precision farming.
FoodHubs: Uses mobile solar-powered cold carts and cold rooms to help smallholder farmers store their produce, so as to avoid post-harvest losses.
Honey Flow Africa: Optimizes beekeeping operations by digitizing and bringing the power of IoT to the beekeeping process to improve honey production, processing and predictability.
Agripredict: Provides farmers with tools that equip them with information that will improve predicting disease, pest infestations and extreme weather conditions.
MAX: Transforms moto-taxi mobility in Africa using mobile apps, inclusive data-driven asset-finance and a comprehensive driver on-boarding program that uses machine learning and psychometric tests to profile drivers and create credit scores for them. MAX enables financial inclusion for drivers, prioritizes safety and uses IoT technology to track all drivers in real time.
CodeLn: An end-to-end technical recruitment platform that automates the entire recruitment process, making it fast and easy for companies to find and test Software Developers and reduce the risk of bad hires.
Bankly: An innovative financial product focused on reaching the unbanked in Africa, in a “Recharge to Save” model. Bankly developed a cash-digitization payment and savings products, in which users pay using Bankly vouchers.
Powerstove Energy: The world’s first clean cookstove with built-in self-powered IoT System for real-time monitoring. Its 100 percent smokeless biomass cookstove cooks food faster and burns 70 times less fuel using processed proprietary water-resistant Goodlife Biomass Pellets produced from forest and agricultural waste.
Pineapple: A fully decentralized insurer. With Pineapple, members pay premiums into their own wallets rather than a central pot. When claims occur, they are distributed to all wallets in the community, which collectively help pay for the claim.
Trend Solar: Assimilated a 4G Android Smartphone and Solar Home System to provide affordable access to energy, internet and mobile in an all-in-one solution that seeks to address the needs of 640 million+ people currently living off-grid in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Last year, we held our first-ever Startup Battlefield in Nairobi, Kenya. African startups impressed us with their innovative solutions and effective business models, so we had to come back and find even more impressive companies from across the continent. TechCrunch reviews several hundred startups from across the region, selecting the top 15 companies to compete onstage. Our partner for the event was Facebook Start.